Mexico’s Agriculture Secretary, Alberto Cárdenas Jiménez, has this week pledged to redouble the effort of the country’s government to stem the loss of farmland caused by man-made drought and desertification.
In a speech to mark the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, Mr Cárdenas said the phenomenon now affected seven out of every 10ha in the country.
He said the Mexican government was beginning work on a series of initiatives to recover some 600,000ha, which have been affected by desertification, as well as measures to capture an estimated 3,000m2 of rainwater.
Mr Cárdenas added that desertification now affects a total of 110 countries at an international level.
In a separate development, the annual production of watermelon in Mexico’s Yucatan region is expected to fall drastically this season, after much of the crop was affected by a whitefly infestation.
According to El Financiero, 5,000 tonnes of watermelon, worth an estimated US$7.7m (€5m) had been lost for this season. Approximately 1,000 producers grow 20,000 tonnes of watermelon during a typical year.