IFAD Asset Request Portlet




Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 462.41 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 252.34 million

Total IFAD financing


Households impacted

The Context

Mexico is the second-largest economy in Latin America. Despite being a large, upper-middle-income country, Mexico continues to have high rural poverty levels and wide social and economic disparities. While only about 25 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, they represent roughly two thirds of the extremely poor.

Disparities are more marked in rural areas, where 61 per cent of the indigenous population is extremely poor, compared with only 19 per cent of the non-indigenous rural population. Although at least 6.7 million Mexicans speak one of the country’s 89 indigenous languages, indigenous peoples are poorer than the non-indigenous population.

Mexico's agriculture sector is facing increasing vulnerabilities and a degraded natural resource base. Rural people are constrained by limited human and social assets, inadequate production-related investments and value-adding infrastructure, scarce financial resources and services, weak public-sector technical assistance and poor access to markets. These constraints result in low productivity, depressed consumption and incomes, and poverty.

A key factor in the sector’s performance is a lack of smallholder access to financing. Although Mexico has various national development banks, access to rural finance remains a challenge. Recent government data indicate that fewer than 3 of every 10,000 poor rural households have access to credit.

Crops that are key to the smallholder economy, such as coffee and seasonal white corn, are frequently exposed to shocks such as climate-related events or market imperfections. The country also faces vulnerability to climate-related disasters exacerbated by inappropriate agricultural practices.

The Strategy

In Mexico, IFAD loans give priority to climate change, with special emphasis on adaptation strategies for smallholders, and to activities that support economic opportunities for indigenous peoples, rural young people, and poor rural households headed by women.

In its efforts to reduce poverty, IFAD addresses the slow productivity growth in agriculture and the smallholder and farmer (campesino) sector, the slow progress on reducing rural poverty and food insecurity among rural households and the regressive public spending on agriculture and poor quality of the fraction invested in smallholder farmers and campesinos.

Key activities include:

  • helping smallholder farmers and campesinos significantly increase their productivity by strengthening their assets, organizational and other capacities, and increasing their access to goods and services markets, and to public services; and
  • contributing to the Government’s efforts to make public spending on smallholder farmers and campesinos more efficient and equitable, particularly with regard to coordination, design, service quality and relevance, impact and sustainability over time, beneficiaries’ organizational capacity, social participation and transparency, and synergies with social policy.

Country Facts

  • Mexico is a middle- to high-income country with the second-largest economy in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • A key factor in the agricultural sector’s performance is a lack of access by smallholders to financing.
  • Since 1980, IFAD has invested a total of US$185.2 million in 10 programmes and projects related to agricultural development in Mexico, benefiting 143,205 households.

Country documents

Related Assets

Country Experts

Projects and Programmes

Projects Browser

Related news

Related Assets

La CEPAL y el FIDA proponen redefinir el concepto de ruralidad para mejorar las políticas públicas e impulsar la agenda de desarrollo socioeconómico

January 2024 - NEWS
La Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL) y el FIDA proponen una nueva aproximación al concepto de ruralidad en México y América Latina con el objetivo de focalizar la acción pública para reducir las desigualdades y avanzar en la consecución de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible.

12 startups de Latinoamérica y el Caribe lideran el cierre de la brecha digital en zonas rurales

August 2023 - NEWS
Innovatech, el novedoso proyecto financiado por el FIDA e implementado por la entidad financiera alemana Sparkassenstiftung, está sentando un precedente en Latinoamérica, al lograr una exitosa vinculación entre startups tecnológicas –empresas fintech y agtech–, y el sector rural en seis países de Latinoamérica y el Caribe.

IFAD-funded project to fight rural poverty by addressing climate change effects in Mexico’s Balsas Basin

April 2022 - NEWS
IFAD and the Government of Mexico have signed a financial agreement today that will support the implementation of a project aimed to fight rural poverty by reducing small-scale farmers’ vulnerability to climate change in one of the Mexican regions most affected by this phenomenon.

Related stories and blogs

Related Assets

A guide to the pulses that power our planet

February 2024 - STORY
Pulses are at the heart of thriving rural communities, and an essential ingredient for a sustainable future. Learn about some of these superfoods – and how to cook them with our Recipes for Change!

You are what you eat: Indigenous youths breathe new life into ancient traditions

October 2022 - STORY
Young members of indigenous communities are working to reverse centuries of dispossession and preserve their way of life, including their food heritage.

Rural youth, innovation and tradition: the challenge of a new order

November 2020 - STORY
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reinvention of the agricultural sector is indispensable today. In fact, it is already beginning to take place with young people at the heart of it.

Related publications

Related Assets

IFAD Research Series 93: New methods to define and measure rurality in Latin America and their impact on public policies: the cases of Mexico and Panama

February 2024
This paper outlines two index proposals for defining and measuring rurality: the relative rurality index and the contiguity of areas of similar densities.

Closing the gaps: Public policy note for the inclusion of a gender and intercultural perspective in agriculture and rural development

June 2019
The purpose of this note is to support dialogue to consider the gender equality approach and the cultural approach in policies for food security, productivity, and rural development.

Impact Assessment: Community-based Forestry Development Project in Southern States (DECOFOS)

December 2018
Deforestation and unsustainable management practices have had a significant impact on the livelihoods of poor rural communities in the forest areas of Campeche, Chiapas and Oaxaca states in Mexico.

Scaling up in agriculture and rural development

September 2018
The who, what, where, why and how of Scaling Up.

Related videos

Related Assets