Mexico: Protected agriculture can increase productivity by up to 1,500%

According to Homero Ontiveros, a consultant at GreenTech Americas, a global platform for horticultural experts, the Mexican states that make up the Centro-Bajio-Occidente Alliance (Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Jalisco, San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro) are leaders in different production sectors thanks to protected agriculture, which has allowed the region to have the country's most productive agricultural business sector. In fact, the use of advanced technology in the field can increase productivity by up to 1,500% in the most valuable crops, such as tomato, avocado, and berries.

“Plant growth is affected by many variables and factors, such as water, nutrients, light intensity, the earth or soil substrate, region, and height of where it is growing. There are many factors involved in the productivity of a crop,” he stated.

"There are many technologies that allow us to have perfectly controlled greenhouses; they have sensors that indicate the plant's stress levels, which tell you when you must irrigate them, and when you must use a screen because solar radiation is too high," he said.

To put the yields of protected agriculture into perspective, Ontiveros said that an open field of tomato crops yields 30 tons per hectare. Meanwhile, using shade systems on the same surface can generate a yield of up to 100 tons.

"If you grow that same crop in a greenhouse, you can increase to production to 200 or 250 tons per hectare, and a high tech greenhouse will allow you to produce more than 500 tons per hectare," said the consultant. "This technology is already influencing agriculture throughout Mexico," he said.

With the objective of expanding the market and strengthening Mexico's position as a world power in protected agriculture, GreenTech Americas 2020 will be held from March 24 to 26 in the city of Queretaro.




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