Aida Carmen Rios-Colín, Jaime Ruiz-Vega, Maria Eugenia Silva-Rivera, Magdaleno Caballero-Caballero, José Luis Montes-Bernabé


Background. The artisanal maguey-mescal production system in Villa Sola de Vega represents culture, identity and an additional monetary income for the families of the municipality. This system is in constant interaction with various subsystems such as environmental, social, economic, technological and cultural. Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the degree of sustainability of the artisanal maguey-mescal agroecosystem within a traditional agroecosystem. Methodology. The methodological process used was the Framework for the Evaluation of Natural Resource Management Systems incorporating Sustainability Indicators (MESMIS). A first step was to characterize the agroecosystem in terms of its components, recognizing three types of mescal distillation. Subsequently, the main variables and indicators were defined, and associated with the sustainability of the Agave-mescal production system in 2010 and 2015. Results. It was found that in the municipality there were 64 factories dedicated to the production of maguey-mezcal, 36 of them distilled in clay pots, 8 in copper alembics and 20 in iron drums; the process is artisan using family or cooperative labor, but with low performance. In the agroecosystem they carry out other productive activities such as the sowing of basic crops (corn, beans, chickpeas, squash, amaranth), backyard crops, and raising poultry, cattle, goats and sheep. Eighteen species of maguey were identified, and the one with the highest use was Agave angustifolia Haw, with 40%, followed by Agave potatorum Zuc, with 15.27%. The degree of sustainability for the agroecosystem in the evaluation years 2010 and 2015 was medium and high respectively, with better values of the economic and institutional indicators for the evaluation year 2015. Implications. The improvement in the sale prices of mescal represents an opportunity to improve the income levels of the producers, but this could also promote the planting of fewer varieties of maguey and less attention to the production of basic crops in the agroecosystem. Conclusions. The factors that favored the sustainability of the agave-mezcal subsystem were the high diversity of species and their integration into the traditional agroecosystem; however in the latter, a lower production of basic crops was observed in 2015. The artisanal maguey-mezcal subsystem is at a point where it can improve its degree of sustainability based on future mezcal sales prices.


agroecosystem; subsystem; family production unit; participatory rural evaluation.

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URN: http://www.revista.ccba.uady.mx/urn:ISSN:1870-0462-tsaes.v25i1.41055

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.56369/tsaes.4105

Copyright (c) 2021 Aida Carmen Rios-Colín, Jaime Ruiz, Maria Eugenia Silva-Rivera, Magdaleno Caballero-Caballero, José Luis Montes-Bernabé

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