How do bees contribute to berry cultivation?

Operation Pollinator seeks to contribute to preserving biodiversity and increasing the number of pollinators that help food production

-Mexico is one of the main exporters of berries with an estimated annual production of 900 thousand tons.

-Pollination manages to increase the agricultural yield of food production by 24%.

MEXICO.- How do pollinators contribute to food production? Many of the crops that are produced in the field directly involve living beings such as bees, bats and insects, which help to control in a natural way from some pests, to the nutrition of the land. That is why pollinators are an important part of various processes in agriculture.

In the last decade, Mexico has become a major producer of berries worldwide. According to the Agrifood and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), around 34 thousand hectares of fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are cultivated in the country, with an estimated production of 900 thousand tons per year. This figure could increase if the coexistence between technified agriculture and the work of pollinators is promoted.

Properly managed pollination can increase agricultural yields by up to 24%, helping to ensure food security and food production. To contribute to the care of various species of pollinators, Syngenta created Operation Pollinator, a program with which it seeks to preserve and improve biodiversity in agricultural areas.

Operation Pollinator is an initiative that has been in Europe and South America for more than 10 years, and arrived in Mexico in 2019 to promote the well-being of bees and other pollinators through biodiversity borders that serve as a source of food and habitat. Through in-depth research, a series of attractive plants for local species are determined and thereby improve their feeding and reproduction.

Alfonso Begines Ibáñez, national producer of berries, established in Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco; has used bees to improve its crops through Operation Pollinator and Syngenta agricultural technology. “As I was looking for solutions to combat pests and diseases and looking at Syngenta's portfolio of solutions, I found out about Operation Pollinator. The benefits we have obtained have been reflected in the quality of the product, which has benefited a very high percentage. We have many fully pollinated and full berry crops. You gain weight, you gain quality, you gain uniformity. Pollinators are welcome, ”he said.

Given the current challenges of the sector, adopting sustainable agricultural models that guarantee food production is a necessity for the benefit of the environment and biodiversity. Talking about pollination in agriculture is directly related to caring for the environment, the species that surround the crops, the consumer and the workers, in addition to the impact it generates on the quality of the crops.

Crop management through specialized initiatives such as Operation Pollinator ensure the survival of bees and increase the biodiversity of pollinators associated with food production. Technological innovation is key for the development of more sustainable projects and with which the production of fruits such as berries can continue to be increased.

Producers such as Alfonso Begines recognize the importance of relying on experts such as Syngenta who can share the necessary knowledge to increase crop productivity and protect their environment. “Speaking of sustainability, we have a very strong challenge to be more efficient with the management of resources and the implementation of new methods to be more respectful of our lands. The challenge is with the flora and fauna since we must take care of our allies in agriculture and manage to continue with a positive production, "he said.

Agriculture has a great commitment to caring for the environment due to the importance of its activity and proximity to various species. Biodiversity is a strong asset in the agricultural sector and in everything that is consumed, so producers protect the environment through good practices in the field and advice from experts such as Syngenta.

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