Drought, Plagues Threaten Local AgricultureBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 07/01/2021 - 17:59
Mexico’s agricultural sector is currently facing numerous problems; chief among them are droughts and pests. Several entities are searching for solutions that could alleviate these issues to help the agricultural sector remain productive.
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- Mexico has experienced devastating droughts and numerous forest fires in recent months. To mitigate these problems, governmental entities have launched a Rainfall Stimulation Plan or Cloud Seeding in several states. The plan will launch in Sinaloa but the government already started a pilot program in Baja California, which operated successfully during February and March in an area of 1 million hectares over the town of San Vicente and the agricultural zone of San Quintín, explains SADER. The pilot program benefited approximately 10,000 residents and 3,000 farmers. The project in Sinaloa, which will last about three months to support the entire agricultural season, began the last week of June and involved between 20 and 25 flights carried out by the Mexican Air Force. The flights transported silver iodide particles to spray between the clouds and precipitate rain.
- Government entities in Colima have joined forces to combat the Mediterranean fruit fly in eight municipalities. The measures will also be applied at four surrounding states to prevent the spread of the pest, which was detected in April. SADER has also indicated that the ground control for pests was strengthened in Jalisco, Michoacan, Guerrero and Nayarit as a preventive measure. The specialists fumigated more than 2,870 hectares in urban and rural communities as a precautionary measure and 4,474 hectares of production areas. The product used for the spraying is an organic product that does not harm other insect species considered beneficial, such as pollinators. In the coming weeks, SENASICA will begin to apply the Sterile Insect Technique. The institution will release 20 million sterile Mediterranean fruit flies every week to mate with wild females and thus prevent their reproduction.
- SADER highlighted the importance of plant health in the fight to eradicate hunger, reduce poverty and protect the environment. It is also a key aspect of economic development. To raise awareness of its importance, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) established July 1 as National Plant Health Day and is supporting 19 phytosanitary campaigns to preserve the health and production of the agricultural sector.