Mexico: Ripe for Growth in High-Value Horticulture Crops

Editor’s Note: Eric Viramontes is Executive Director of Meister Media Worldwide Mexico, based in Guadalajara. Here he provides an overview of the progress Mexican agriculture has made in recent years, particularly in horticultural crops.

Mexico is an extraordinary country, privileged and distinguished by the abundance of its natural resources. It has one of the greatest climates and physiographic diversities on the planet and is full of tradition, culture, and a natural beauty which makes it unique.

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Mexico also is endowed with a people who have a notable agriculture calling and strong farming roots, making this a country of rural origins which has evolved to turn agriculture into one of the country’s most dynamic sectors with great economic, technological, and productivity growth and advocacy for social development.

The country now attracts international recognition as a world-class supplier of agri-food products, with a trade surplus in 2017 of $4.9 billion and an export value of $32.5 billion – 14.3% higher in current prices than that obtained in 2016. In 2018 the country’s agri-food export value is expected to jump to $35.8 billion, with a year-over-year increase of 10.2%.

Other facts about the agri-food sector in Mexico:

  • Between 2013 and 2017, 501,000 hectares (nearly 1.24 million acres) were moved to modernized irrigation systems. In the same period more than 30,000 tractors were distributed through governmental financial programs.
  • The berry sector is developing rapidly at an annual growth rate of 7.9%, accumulating to a total production area of 39,000 hectares (96,400 acres), of which 89% is under protective cover. Berries now have an export value of $1.66 billion.
  • Today the overall horticulture sector has an infrastructure of 29,600 hectares (73,200 acres) of protected agriculture with a value of $6.5 billion. The vegetable export business alone has reached $4.8 billion in value.
  • Other important export-oriented crops that reinforce just how important the Mexican agricultural sector is include avocado, with 466,300 acres and a value of $2.1 billion; mango (466,200); lemon (421,900 acres); banana (192,700); grape (76,400); asparagus (66,700); and papaya (42,100).

If you are interested in doing business in Mexico, here is one especially interesting fact: Each year over the past 12 years, Mexico has made an average annual investment of $3.9 billion in production supplies and another $1.45 billion in infrastructure (protected, postharvest, and irrigation). This investment is expected to continue growing at an annual rate of 6.5% for years to come.

Communication will be key in all future efforts to introduce products and services into Mexico, develop market presence, and obtain the industry’s loyalty. The opportunities are real, due to the constant effort and commitment among the nation’s producers and their partners to become more productive, efficient, profitable, sustainable, and responsible. All crop areas are open to innovation, technological development, and a continuing race for competitiveness.