Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 2, Issue 1,2004
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Mechanization for harvesting and processing dryland plants


Dietmar Rössel 1, Hipolito Ortiz-Laurel 2, H. M. Durán García 3*

Recieved Date: 2003-09-15, Accepted Date: 2004-01-09


Agricultural mechanization in Mexico still ranges from hand tools, tools for draught animals to mechanized equipment. Agricultural production concentrates on cereals for domestic consumption, where big machines, tillage tools, planters, fertilizing and spraying equipment have reached a high level of development. At present the mechanization index is 0.443 kW/ha of energy applied on farming activities for commercial agriculture. Two thirds of the Mexican territory is semiarid, where successful agriculture depends upon low, seasonal and variable rainfall. Rising and processing of non-traditional plants in these regions is an alternative for poor farmers to raise their income, however, it requires of adequate mechanization tools and techniques according to yield and quality demands. Some of these products are cactus pear fruit (“tunas”), lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla) to obtain fibers and “maguey” molasses to produce liquors. However, to harvest and process them to a suitable standard quality it is required a lot of labor and hard work, and despite these, profit is marginal. In this work is presented an analysis where research is being undertaken in order to supply to farmers with unsophisticated equipment and improved techniques for harvesting and industrializing these plants.


Arid lands, agricultural mechanization, harvesting, process-control, desert crops

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2004
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 317-321

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