Profitability of Corn (Zea mays L.) Grown in Milpa Production Systems in Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz, Mexico


Edwin Sosa Cabrera
Rosa María González Amaro
Armando Contreras-Hernández


Traditional agriculture, Rural development, Agricultural Economics, Farming.


Objective: To compare the profitability of corn cultivation under the milpa production system in Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz.
Methodology: Ninety-one producers, from Villa de Zaachila, Oaxaca, Chalchicomula de Sesma, Puebla, and Tequila, Veracruz, Mexico, were interviewed about corn production in milpa production systems. Average yield per hectare, costs, selling price, and total income were compared and the Cost Benefit Ratio (CBR) of the milpas of each
municipality was analyzed.
Results: In Villa de Zaachila, corn production is carried out in a modern agriculture system with a $13,650 ha -1 total production costs, a 2,257 kg ha -1 yield, a $23,429.27 ha -1 total income, and a 1.72 CBR. The producers of Chalchicomula de Sesma use a traditional agriculture system and the production is sold to intermediaries, with a $12,380 ha -1 total cost, a 2,456 kg ha -1 yield, a $12,280.00 ha -1 total income, and a 0.99 CBR. In
Tequila, a subsistence agriculture is used, with a $7,350 ha -1 total production cost, a 964 kg ha -1 yield, a $6,748.00 ha -1 total income, and a 0.92 CBR.
Study Limitations: The data were taken from an exploratory sample, limited in time and space. Non-sampled versions or productive practices could have been omitted, when technical-economic specificities are different from those shown in this study.
Conclusions: The contrasting modifications in the structure, function, and logic of the milpa (2020-2021 cycle) resulted in a profitable agroecosystem in Villa de Zaachila; however, Chalchicomula de Sesma and Tequila had a non-profitable cycle.

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