Pig farming in Mexico over time
Author of the article, Gerardo Mayoral García
* Photo: Pig breed – Duroc
Mexico has always been considered a very rich country in many different aspects and one of them is pig farming, but to be able to be considered an important country in this area of production we have to go a little to the past to understand how it got there.
The beginnings of the Mexican pig farming date back to the 16th century when the Spanish introduced pigs from European and Asian regions. In Mexico there was no system to keep suitable control in production, so the lack of this control originated the Creole pigs, which expanded throughout Mexico, until in the 20th century started importing the Duroc and Poland China breeds.
Between 1940 and 1960, pig farming in Mexico became one of the most important sources of meat in Mexico, being in this last decade when the importation of species from the United States was recorded, but again the lack of infrastructure and standardization created a new breed called current pig.
Apparently the pig farming had a very positive tendency, so there was a lot of investment and the number of new producers increased every year, but the decade of the 80s arrived brought with it many bad news for Mexican pig production. First of all, the crisis in 1982 and the elimination of the subsidy in sorghum in 1985 led to increased costs and decreased purchasing power, so it was no longer profitable to invest in pig farming and the smaller producers disappeared.
When the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) appears, exports and imports are gone in all markets and pig farming is one of them, but due, on the one hand, to the existed lack of investment and lack of infrastructure and the technology and competitive advantages that had other treaty markets, 40% of the country's farms were abandoned and closed.
PREVALENCE OF BIG GROUPS
Nowadays, Mexican pork production is dominated by the biggest groups in the different regions of the country, since they acquired all the small producers that could no longer compete with the technology and infrastructure.
So all of the above mentioned are the reasons are where Mexico currently is placed in the pig market, different sources place Mexico in the 8th / 9th place of production of pork with an approximate of 1325 metric tons of meat.
Unfortunately, Mexico cannot supply its domestic market with the level of production that it has today, having to import almost 35% of the consumption in the country, which places Mexico in the main countries that import pork.
The main causes are the lack of infrastructure and technology in the farms at national level and this causes that they do not have the performance that the country needs to cover the national market demand. Added to this lack of investment in infrastructure, lack of technology and efficient production systems is the high bacterial resistance that causes that current antibiotics fail to protect the animal in an appropriate manner and affect the different diseases that affect the national level such as Diarrhea. Endemic, PRRS (Porcine Respiratory and Digestive Syndrome Virus), in addition to E. Coli, Salmonella and other digestive and respiratory diseases.
What Mexico needs to be able to take advantage of its resources, territory and manage to exploit the potential of becoming one of the main producers of pork in the world as well as being able to cover its demand in the national market is a new strategy based on the investment of new technologies, new antibiotics and an improvement of the infrastructure.
Mexico needs to grow and catch up with the most important countries to attract more investors and production continues to grow, become an avant-garde country, invest in research to develop new technologies and keep changing as the world is changing and not getting stuck at a level that each time it leaves Mexico out of being an important country and not only in pig farming but in every productive aspect.