Rural Poverty and Agricultural Mechanisation Policies in Mexico
Jaime Cuauhtemoc Negrete

Mexico has a territory of 198 million hectares of which fifteen percent is dedicated to agricultural crops and fifty eight percent is used for livestock production. Much of the country is too arid and too mountainous for crops or grazing. Forests cover 67 million hectares or thirty four percent of the country. The climate and topography limits agricultural production to 20.6 million hectares or 10.5% of the nation’s territory. Even though agriculture in Mexico occupies a minor role in the gross domestic product (less than 4%) and the overall revenue of the country’s income, it still remains one of the main activities in Mexico employing approximately 10% of the population, for the obvious reason that food production is critical for any nation. The cultivable area in Mexico is broad, since according to data from the world bank , about 13% of the land has been used for agriculture. Mexican agriculture is divided into a highly capitalized commercial sector, a sector of small farmers with ties to the market, particularly in the domestic market and subsistence sector producing for household consumption and whose income depends to a considerable degree of external activities. This group use the field as a primary source of income and to supplement their own food. These farmers usually do not have the technology (tractors, modified seeds, irrigation systems or others) to do their job. This way being the farmer his own employer, he has no wage labor, but perhaps only during the strongest periods, such as the periods of planting and harvesting, since most of the time is his family who supports him, all this had caused rural poverty .The only way to reverse the situation of extreme poverty in rural areas in Mexico is reviewing agricultural mechanization policies, as these are properly applied to increase the productivity of farmers to not to come this mechanization, smallholders engaged in the domestic market and subsistence farmers.

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