The government of Puebla allocated MX$442 million (US$25.3 million) to increase mezcal production in the state. Puebla is the second largest producer of mezcal in the country. Next year, state production is expected to reach 1 million L.
Resources were allocated through the state’s Ministry of Rural Development (SDR), which has supported local farmers in the creation of mezcal cooperatives. These actions aim to strengthen the economy of mezcal producers and promote growth in the Mixteca region, located in the southern part of Puebla.
Since 2015, 116 municipalities in Puebla boast a mezcal “Denomination of Origin,” a designation that grants certain localities the exclusivity of planting and cultivating agave to produce mezcal. This title recognizes the quality of the spirituous beverage, benefiting local producers by giving them the opportunity to earn higher incomes and improve their living conditions, as well as those of their workers and families.
Incentives for producers derived from the US$25.3 million investment were first granted on Aug. 23 in the municipality of Huehuetlan el Grande, with the initiative expected to be complete over a period of 60 days. Ana Laura Altamirano, Minister, SDR, noted that the initiative includes the planting of 15 million native agave plants, along with nutrition inputs. She also emphasized that the strategy will benefit 5,000 small family producers and generate 20,000 jobs across all stages of the supply chain.
Sergio Céspedes, Governor, Puebla, highlighted that this investment represents an effort in support for the countryside, particularly in mezcal production, which has gained momentum in the last eight years. He mentioned that the support provided strengthens producers who have been increasingly focusing on mezcal production rather than cultivating other crops for self-consumption. Furthermore, he commented that his government aims to set a precedent on the kind of support needed to boost the development of the agricultural sector. “We want to guarantee the well-being of farmers and their families,” stressed Céspedes.
Currently Puebla produces 500,000L of mezcal and holds second place in terms of production volume in the country. The state government aims to cultivate 5,000ha of agave with the goal of doubling the annual production to 1 million L by 2024.
According to the Mezcal Regulatory Council, Mexico has 19,000ha dedicated to the cultivation of agave for mezcal production, with national production exceeding 8 million L, being Oaxaca the leading producer with 6.9 million L. In 2022, 6.4 million L were exported through 331 commercial brands, with the US being the main importer of this product, accounting for 5.5 million L.