Agriculture in Mexico
Agave plants and a ruined hacienda
house in Jalisco
has been an important sector of the country’s economy historically and politically even though it now accounts for a very small percentage of Mexico’s GDP
. Mexico is one of the cradles of agriculture
with the Mesoamericans
developing domesticated plants such as maize, beans, tomatoes, squash, cotton
, vanilla, avocados, cacao
, various kinds of spices, and more. Domestic turkeys
and Muscovy ducks
were the only domestic ticated fowl in the pre-Hispanic period and small dogs were raised for food. There were no large domesticated animals.
During the early colonial period, the Spanish introduced more plants and the concept of animal husbandry, principally cattle, horses, donkeys, mules, goats and sheep, and barn yard animals such as chickens and pigs. Farming from the colonial period until the Mexican Revolution
was focused on large private properties. After the Revolution these were broken up and the land redistributed. Since the latter 20th century NAFTA
and economic policies have again favored large scale commercial agricultural holdings. Read more...