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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1258: XXX International Horticultural Congress IHC2018: XIX Symposium on Horticultural Economics and Management, VII Symposium on Supply Chains, II Symposium on Economics, Marketing and Consumer Research and VIII Symposium on Education and Consultancy

Sustainability and environmental management in the Mexican vegetable sector

Authors:   L.E. Padilla-Bernal, A. Lara-Herrera, A. Vélez Rodríguez, M. Loureiro
Keywords:   environmental management systems, management of natural resources, agricultural sustainability
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1258.23
In terms of sustainability, the Mexican horticultural sector faces great challenges as well as opportunities because of its strong environmental and social impact. The main environmental problems in Mexico are related to inefficient water use and to deforestation. Of growing importance is soil pollution because of the inappropriate use of agrochemicals, greenhouse gas emissions and soil erosion. Environmental problems are more severe in arid or semiarid regions, such as the state of Zacatecas, where 87.7% of the cultivated area is rainfed, while the rest is irrigated with water extracted from 34 aquifers, 14 of which are over-exploited. This study determines the relationship between the decision to adopt an integral program of care and protection of the environment in vegetable production units (PUs) and the characteristics of the PUs and growers, their views on sustainability, their agricultural practices and the drivers and barriers to adoption. Moreover, the likelihood of adoption of this program was determined. Information was obtained through a questionnaire applied to owners of PUs and was processed using two logistic regression models and principal component analysis. The likelihood of adopting the program was 74.2%, determined by level of education, view on sustainability, profitability of the PU, internal aspects of the organization and sustainable agricultural practices. For the design of an integral program of care and protection of the environment in the horticulture sector, we suggest direct support to the growers to establish sustainable agricultural practices, integrating standards of food safety, biodiversity and environmental management.

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