Mexican strawberry farmers go green

Mexico is one of the leading strawberry producers in the world — and the state of Michoacán is at its center. There, hundreds of small and medium-holder farmers grow the beloved red berry exclusively in their fields.

Still, incomes are precarious for many farmers, while monocultures and outdated agricultural practices have damaged soil and led to water shortages.

The program "Madre Tierra," which means Mother Earth, is training strawberry growers in more environmentally friendly farming methods.

Isidro Ramirez is one of the oldest farmers taking part in the Madre Tierra program. He now uses an irrigation system that saves water.

The Madre Tierra program involves the German development agency, GIZ, as well as companies that process and sell the strawberries after harvesting. These include Danone-Ecosystem, Frexport, GIZ, Walmart Foundation of Mexico, Nuup and TechnoServe.

GIZ also advises the strawberry farmers as part of the project "Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Mexican Agriculture."

Isidro Ramirez now also leaves fallow plots in his fields to allow the soil to regenerate. Techniques like crop rotation will hopefully increase yields. The farmer has installed bee boxes to encourage natural pollination too. And he can minimize his fertilizer use with the help of a new app.

A film by Aitor Sáez




6,53 minutes


Global Ideas

The television reports and documentaries of Deutsche Welle's 'Global Ideas' media project provide people all over the world with information on model projects which implement biodiversity and climate protection. The media project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative.