Mexico: INIFAP (Ministry of Agriculture) and COFUPRO

Mexican agriculture is characterized by family farms. Large scale, commercial operations, are the exception, not the rule.

Family Farms Required Climatological Data

Unfortunately, small farmers have little access to financing (for lack of collateral, e.g. insurance), are usually not covered by insurance (therefore no access to credits), and have a hard time getting decent climatological information with relevance to their own micro-climates.

These farmers needed help.

The onset of climate change (which led to frequent and often dramatic crop losses) combined with the development of renewable energies in the US, led to an increase in methanol production which put a lot of pressure on corn prices. Something had to be done.

Establishing a 1,000+ Network of Weather Stations

With this background in mind, the responsible organizations for agriculture and forestry in Mexico, SAGARPA, INIFAP, and COFUPRO, came up with a bold plan to establish a 1,000+ network of full-fledged weather stations, covering all agricultural areas in all Mexican States.

This network would provide yield forecasts, disease and irrigation advice, frost warnings and create a database to allow for weather index insurance projects. All data would be available online, in real-time, and be available for anyone, free of charge. A revolutionary project at the time!

Choosing a Supplier

After conducting a series of extensive comparative tests, ADCON Telemetry, represented in Mexico by Agrienlace SA de C.V. in Hermosillo, became the supplier of choice in this project.

Major Criteria for this Supplier Choice was:

More than 1,200 ADCON stations have now been established. The measurement network consists of ADCON ETo and ADCON A723 soil moisture monitoring stations

Two Elements Made Project Unique on a Worldwide Scale

  1. This project is driven by Mexico’s major farmers cooperatives as much as by the government. The farmers organizations have recognized the importance of real-time weather data for managing crops and resources to improve quality and profits.

    They have therefore offered to share 50% of the cost of this network, with the Mexican government paying  the other 50 % - which allowed to make the network much larger than it would have been if only financed by the government. This will also make sure that the output of the stations will be better and quickly accepted by the users.

  2. The government will provide a basic set of data free of charge to everyone. All stations are accessible via the INIFAP homepage and supply current weather readings, statistical data (daytime lows and highs, average values, precipitation totals). Beyond this, farmers can choose to subscribe to INIFAP’s consulting services, which will then supply them with historical data and crop specific advice, if so desired.

Related Applications

Agricultural Meteorology

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