Made in Quintana Roo
The news is spreading that Mexico is emerging as a leading economy for Latin American countries, taking the crown from Brazil, all thanks to improvements in safety, manufacturing markets, exports and more. Despite the constant pressure of urbanization, traditional agriculture has survived in Mexico thanks to farmer innovation and adaptation. On a regional level, the balance now needs to be struck between the growing population and efficient resource management.
Since 2000, Mexico’s government has increased its support to agriculture, with the aim of protecting the ecosystem services of rural and suburban areas that provide to cities, ensuring a local food supply.
In 2007, the Secretariat for Rural Development and Equity for Communities (SEDEREC) was created to promote traditional food production free of pesticides. It also included a program for rural development that improved planning, technology, and marketing.
Added to this the regional program established in 2014, Hecho en Quintana Roo (Made in Quintana Roo) has already gained a reputable spot on supermarket shelves.
There is scientific evidence that small-scale farming in developing countries is more efficient, mostly because small producers put more effort in the precise management of their areas of land. The concept that intensive farming is cheap is a fallacy - once you incorporate the health and environmental costs, small-scale agriculture is a superior system.
The challenge for Quintana Roo for the coming decade will be to manage the large-scale urbanization efficiently, meet the demands of the regional population and reduce the environmental impact of the region - the central pull of tourists and nationals alike.
The registered population of Quintana Roo is 1.5 million. From this total, 430,000 are under 15 years old, and over one million people are active members of society; without taking into account the constant influx of tourists. In 2008, the Riviera Maya even received the accolade from the Guinness World Record for being one of the fastest growing regions, a trend that has not shown any signs of slowing down since.
There are a lot of mouths to feed in the state. As consumers, it is important that we keep a watchful eye on the stewardship of the natural environment while promoting an economic development model that protects this privileged landscape.
You can play an important role in safeguarding this area. Start by requesting local produce in your hotels, stores, and restaurants. Look for the Hecho en Quintana Roo so that when you come back to visit the region in ten year’s time, you will still be able to enjoy all the bounty of paradise, from the landscapes to the flavours.