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Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas

Print version ISSN 2007-0934

Rev. Mex. Cienc. Agríc vol.7 spe 16 Texcoco May./Jun. 2016



Financial and socioeconomic assessment of the coffee-banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system in Tlapacoyan, Veracruz

Ranulfo Cruz Aguilar1 

Juan Antonio Leos Rodríguez2  * 

Miguel Uribe Gómez2 

Roberto Rendón Medel2 

1Posgrado en Ciencias Agroforestería para el Desarrollo Sostenible- Universidad Autónoma Chapingo. Carretera. México - Texcoco km 38.5, Chapingo, Texcoco 56230, Estado de México. México. Tel: 595 952 540.

2Universidad Autónoma Chapingo. Carretera. México-Texcoco km 38.5, Chapingo, Texcoco. C. P. 56230, Estado de México. México. Tel: 595 952 1540. (,,,


The coffee-banana-citrus agroforestry system in Tlapacoyán, Veracruz, is dynamic and complex, with a cultural and social wealth; it presents less risk to climatological and economic events and implies increased need for labor than a monoculture. This work has the general objective to conduct a financial and economic assessment for family production unit’s coffee-banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system in the municipality of Tlapacoyan, Veracruz. Specific objectives agronomically characterize the agroforestry system and construct a typology of producers. Three categories of producers as defined by the surface, available manpower and technological level, through surveys, field observations and the creation of a database is established. Each category (I, II and III) were calculated costs and revenues with the help of the development of technical itineraries, later to determine the indicators to 30 years. The results of category II are the most favorable. Building typology of producers is advisable to analyze production systems; it is concluded that the financial indicators (TIR, VAN and B/C) are economically viable and socioeconomic indicators (PMO and PT) show a higher income than wages in the region and a higher yield is obtained when the surface is less.

Keywords: family production units; financial assessment; socioeconomic evaluation


El sistema agroforestal café-plátano-cítricos en Tlapacoyan, Veracruz, es dinámico y complejo, con una riqueza cultural y social; presenta menor riesgo ante eventos climatológicos y económicos e implica mayor necesidad de mano de obra que un monocultivo. Este trabajo tiene como objetivo general realizar una evaluación financiera y socioeconómica para las unidades de producción familiar del sistema agroforestal tradicional café-plátano-cítricos en el municipio de Tlapacoyan, Veracruz. Como objetivos específicos caracterizar agronómicamente el sistema agroforestal y construir una tipología de productores. Se establecieron tres categorías de productores definidas por la superficie, mano de obra disponible y nivel tecnológico, a través de encuestas, recorridos de campo y la conformación de una base de datos. A cada categoría (I, II y III) se le calcularon costos e ingresos con la ayuda de la elaboración de itinerarios técnicos, para posteriormente determinar los indicadores a 30 años. Los resultados de la categoría II son los más favorables. La construcción de tipología de productores es recomendable para analizar los sistemas de producción; se concluye que los indicadores financieros (TIR, VAN y B/C) son económicamente viables y los indicadores socioeconómicos (PMO y PT) muestran un ingreso mayor que el jornal en la región y se obtiene una rentabilidad más alta cuando la superficie es menor.

Palabras clave: evaluación financiera; evaluación socioeconómica; unidades de producción familiar


The systems of food production have a focus of intensive monocultures, causing the irrational exploitation of natural resources and the increasingly pointed small producers (Robles, 2011) impoverishment. The communities of the municipality of Tlapacoyan, Veracruz suffer these technological changes, based on the market situation requires them and government support programs. Prices for coffee production are unstable causing uncertainty in producer incomes coupled with increased inputs (Gómez, 2008).

Some top producers retain traditional agroforestry systems such as coffee-banana-citrus, but the middle and lower system changed this monoculture banana and citrus. Although in a regional context Villaseñor (1987) states that in Mexico the region Tlapacoyán, Veracruz coffee is grown associated with tangerine, orange and lemon, along with banana and shade trees.

Some authors define the SAF as the trees grow alongside crops and/or livestock production, modify the microclimate, maintain and improve soil fertility and soil microbiology (Bene et al., 1977; Combe and Budowsky, 1979; Lundren and Raintree, 1982; FAO, 1984; Nair, 1985; ICRAF, 1993; Krishnamurty, 1998). The components of the SAF have some design and arrangement to work, this will depend on the location and climate where they are located (Nair, 1993).

The work that has been done specifically on this agroforestry system and the municipality must first Uribe (199) who through an economic analysis, calculating TIR, VAN, B/C indicators over a period of 15 years concluded that traditional agroforestry coffee-banana-citrus is complex and dynamic, with its own plant architecture and complex f lows of energy and nutrients, has a diversified production structure with coffee, bananas and citrus, has great flexibility in handling its components over time, it has a great social and cultural wealth, is an economically viable alternative for small producers, presents less risk to economic and climatic events, although it involves greater administrative management and greater need for labor.

Moreover Cruz et al. (2014) using indicators with the methodology of the Institut National Agronomique Paris- Grignon- INA/PG, calculated indicators land productivity (PT) and productivity of labor (PMO), finding that the PMO is higher than the cost opportunity in the region and PT indicates that increased land productivity is obtained when the surface is less; these results contribute to this agroforestry system can continue playing over time and producers do not abandon this activity.

Importantly, this agroforestry system is part of the economically productive of family production units (UPF) of the municipality of Tlapacoyan, Veracruz activities, and as such has specific characteristics and different objectives to productive agricultural investment projects that are evaluated indicators of conventional economics (B/C, TIR, VAN and others), so in this study the methodology generated was tested by the group of researchers from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon-INA/PG, France, to conduct socio-economic evaluations these UPF with PT and PMO indicators. This work has the general objective to conduct a financial and economic assessment coffee-banana- citrus traditional agroforestry system in municipality of Tlapacoyán, Veracruz.


The municipality of Tlapacoyan is located in the downtown area of Veracruz State, at coordinate’s 19° 58' north latitude and 97° 13' west longitude, its average altitude above sea level is 650 m. It limits the south with Jalacingo and Atzalan municipalities’ east Martínez de la Torre and north and west with the state of Puebla (Gobierno del estado de Veracruz, 2014).

The 20 communities located in the upper part of the municipality of Tlapacoyan, Veracruz, these were visited: Buena Vista, Eytepeques, Otra Banda, Platanozapán, Pochotitánand San Isidro; it identified that these producers work the coffee-banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Communities that have visited the traditional agroforestry system coffee-banana-citrus in the municipality of Tlapacoyan, Veracruz (Cruz et al., 2015). 

An interview with representatives of each community coffee growers group was performed to provide the names of people on their land agroforestry system traditional banana-citrus café-work. A roster of 37 producers in the six communities was obtained; interviews were applied in plot and in the homes of the producers. The surveys were emptied in a database. Family production units (UPF) were classified based on the surface of the earth, the amount of labor they have available and the level of equipment and modernization.

The agronomic characterization involved the description of the components (coffee, banana and citrus), production costs (inputs and prices) and income (yields and prices). This information is summarized in tables of technical itineraries that define this agronomic characterization.

The financial evaluation included an analysis of the system to 30 years of the components for the UPF through indicators formulas proposed by Aguirre (1981), for the benefit-cost ratio (B/C), the net present value (VAN) and the internal rate of return (TIR). The methodology that was used to characterize socioeconomically UPF to 30 years is proposed by Dufumier (1996), which defines the formulas for calculating the indicators. Intermediate costs (CI), gross domestic product (PB), gross value added (VAB), net value added (VAN), productivity of labor (PMO) and land productivity (PT). And finally the equivalent land use by Montagnini (1992), which is a ratio between output according to the number of components and the surface of the earth.

Results and discussion

Agronomic characterization


Coffee: garnica, caturra, arabic, novo world, bourbon and typica. Banana: dominico white dwarf, purple, male and roatan. Oranges: jaffa valence or late, imperial, sugar. Tangerines: freemont, mónica and fortune. Mandarins queen and dancy. Grapefruits: double red, blush and march network. Limes: persian lemon and fresh lemon.

System structure: each component of the system is located strategically, avoiding competition between them in terms of horizontal space and trying to occupy different strata vertically (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Diagram of the distribution of the three components of the coffee-banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system. 

Establishment of the system: when the system is applied on farms already established a number of shade trees is removed to allow trace the estrangement of the new species well and avoid excessive shade. Thus, the starting point will be the traditional agroforestry system. If the system has just begun species are planted together; first all areas where bananas should “ahoyarse” are drawn, this is planted before the other species because it is planted in the dry season. Coffee and citrus are planted to start the rainy season, at which time the banana and offers some shade mainly for coffee.

Coffee: before making the planting hole digging 40 cm deep is made and covered with topsoil from the farm. These activities should be made 20 days before planting coffee trees. Planting is set to start the rainy season. When planted should select the most healthy and vigorous seedling, and is done "bare root" or "pylon". Among the cultivation work carried out is the practice of "oppression" in february, using stakes at its upper end with a hook shape. When they have sprouted seedlings are selected from three to four, during pruning tip from the mother plant using a machete is removed. Pruning is done after harvest (March) eliminating uncompensated, unproductive, dry, diseased and broken branches.

The most common pest and is the producer controls stem borer, which is more common in the rainy season, focusing until december. It fought with Foley (5 milliliters per liter of water), injecting with syringe into the tree to kill the larvae. High incidence of lea fminer of coffee leucoptera coffella on farms was observed, however not controlled. The disease incidence is low. There is no control over them, was found in rust coffee trees Hemileia vastatrix Berk y Br., "mal de hilachas" Corticium koleroga Cooke, "ojo de gallo" Mycena citricolor Berk y Br., "mancha de hierro" Cercospora coffeicola Berk Cooke.

The cherry collection begins in late September and ends in January. The crop is distributed in 2-3 "pepenas", 2 good and drag. The yields range from 2 to 6 t ha-1. Common activities for the three components of the system are weed control and fertilization. It usually consists of controlling weeds 3-4 times a year, when they have one to two years old coffee trees and shadow is still small and only once or twice a year from the third year of the system established.

When they are three earned, the first is carried out after harvest, between January and February, using mattock; the second is during the rainy season the third in late September, before starting the coffee harvest. The last two are with clean machete, called "chaponeo". Lately the use of herbicides in the rainy season comes to be used, the most used are applying labor leader or 2-3 L ha-1. Fertilization practice is done in two ways; one relates to when the fertilizer is directed to the coffee plant and the other, apparently the most common, is one in which the banana component receives fertilizer application where citrus and coffee exploit the fertilizer for their root systems which have developed by the banana component.

Banana: is asexual propagation by suckers, which are selected from existing plantations. The hijuelo is started, using a hand tool called a "cavador". Strains are 60-70 cm in diameter and 25-40 cm deep. Subsequently, the strain is filled with fertiles oil or lid, waiting 20 days for planting. The plantation is established from February to may, preferably in march, because there is good soil moisture. It involves placing the hijuelo in strain, trying the "sweet potato" protrudes 10 cm from the surface, and thus encourage sprouting. If the plant survives three days emits an outbreak known as "python" and at 15 already has its first leaves.

The cultivation works are performed two to three times a year, preferably before flowering coffee. All of these practices waste (leaves, tillers and pseudostem) are chopped with machete fragmenting and dispersed on the surface of the farm. The need for the practice of defoliation instrument is the "crescent" eliminating old stained or mechanical damage leaves. If the rainy season defoliation is four to five leaves left over her veil and if in cold or dry season six leaves and veil. For the "destule" pseudostem or "destlasole" a machete or moruna is needed, eliminating waste of leaves, and try that the trunk is clean. Using a "digger" process of removing children stunted and scattered, leaving on February 1 per plant desuckering good. They should be larger and better position, avoiding coffee invade lines.

After harvesting the fruit stems of plants of 1.5 to 2 meters high are left, in order that this "amadrine" and "force" the new tillers. For there to transfer photosynthates the corm and the tillers. Pests have little importance and which come to be presented are: the gopher (Orthogeomys hispidus Le Conte) is controlled by a bait called commercially as "1080", impregnated sugar cane tips. With minor you are the "zaratán" (Cosmopolites sordidus German) and its damage is undermining the corm.

The disease is more problematic "chamusco", presented at time of heat wave (august). The causal agent is the fungus Ascomycete Mycosphaerella fijiensis, resecting the leaves and pale yellow stripes on the upper leaf three and four. Control must be done mechanically by practicing and chemical defoliation, by applying commercial products such as fungicides TILT®. To harvest is necessary to know the following indices: fruit well filled, color a little yellowish and fall of the pistils. A cluster weighs 4 to 6 kg and ranging from 2 to 12 kg; the best quality of bananas in the months of May to September is obtained. The harvest is every 15 days, particularly during the rainy season, which runs from July to September; the rest of the year can be harvested every 20 days. In total there are 17 to 18 cuts per year. To harvest the plant, cutting it to a height of 1.5 to 2 m, annual yields are 4.8 to 5.8 t ha-1 year-1, obtained by cutting 200 to 300 kg ha-1 year-1 is grave. The cuts include more performance from July to November.

Citrus: to establish one planting hole digging 40 cm in diameter is by 40-50 cm deep, depositing as focused as possible plant and after this activity is covered with fertile land, is between June and July, and it is possible until november, when the plant comes from nurseries bag. Between the fifth and sixth year pruning with serrate and machete, trying to leave the shaft clean the height of 2-3 m, to facilitate handling of the coffee plantation and orange branches not overlap with coffee it is given, further avoids excessive shading. They are performed every 3-4 years, as a measure of health, pruning, removing diseased branches or dry. Pruning citrus is at the time of the coffee tree pruning. The most common pest is the ant arriera Atta sp., which attacks adult plants, fought with Mirex, applying 10 g per square meter, and the way that insects leave the nest on their way to the plant.

The presence of gomosis affects up to 10% of the trees, for control bordelesa paste is applied, which is prepared with 20 g of lime plus 20 g of copper sulfate, in a liter of water. The damaged plant is scraped and cleaned well, avoiding contaminating other trees with the instrument to scrape off and to apply the paste. Another practice that every 3-4 years is done is to remove the "soluches" (bromeliads), and all parasitic ivies and epiphytes that are set in the branches of citrus. They are manually removed, using a ladder to reach the aerial part of the plants. The plants begin to produce in the third year, and in very shady trees until the tenth, establishing full production in 15 years. The harvest season begins inAugust-September and ends in December, however this plant produces fruit so homogeneous that a cut is given, being very rare ventures productions.

The cut is manual, using very long and light stairs, greater length to four meters, bags or “arpillas” that hang on the shoulder to deposit the fruits. As for returns, an orange tree within two years of starting production, about the ninth set, produces an average of 25 kg and thus continues to increase until set to 100 kg per year, that is, the year 15 forward.

Stratification of family production units (UPF): stratification by category of the UPF of the study communities were able to establish from the analysis of:

The availability of land; the level of intensification of their workforce; and the technological level of the production system. For socio-economic analysis of the UPF these resulting in the following categories criteria were used:

Category I. Families equipped sub implementing traditional agroforestry coffee-banana-citrus on a single property temporarily, with family labor force sufficient to meet the needs of the production system, your product is selling at lot.

UPF. Model. It has an area of 3 ha of land in a single plot of time with traditional agroforestry coffee-banana-citrus, the activity need not hire labor, the selling price of coffee is $1.50 per kg, banana $2.20 per kg and citric is $1.00 per kg. These UPF represent on average 67.5% of the communities studied.

Category II. Semi-equipped families, one temporary premises with the traditional agroforestry system coffee- banana-citrus, hire labor at harvest time sale of product is in the central supply of the municipality of Martínez de la Torre.

UPF. Model. They have 8 ha with traditional agroforestry system coffee-banana-citrus with a level of technology reduced to a vehicle low capacity, hire labor in times harvest, the selling price of coffee is $2.5, banana $3.00 and $1.50 citric. They represent on average 21.6% of the studied communities.

Category III. Families equipped, one two properties temporarily with traditional agroforestry coffee-banana- citrus, hire labor in times harvest, the price of production is defined by the central supply of the municipality of Martínez de la Torre or Central Abastos, Mexico City.

UPF. Model. 18 ha on average land with traditional agroforestry system.

Coffee-banana-citrus, with the level of technology to a vehicle capacity of three tons and one with little capacity, using family labor and sometimes the contract, are producers in the process of capitalization, the sale price coffee is $2.5, $3.00 banana and citrus $1.50. These UPF represent on average 10.9% of the studied communities.

Financial evaluation

Cost: the cost of investment includes a breakdown of fixed and variable costs for the establishment of coffee- banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system. These costs were derived from surveys and prices in the region which for category I is $137 950.00, for the category of $522 400.00 II and III for $1 635 400.00. Operating costs are considered from the year 1 to 30, provide the work for system maintenance since it begins until it ends its production cycle. Category I is $660 373.20, the II of $2 186 695.20 and III of $ 7 655 179.20.

Income: total income in 30 years for category I is $3 125 700.00, in the II $12 062 400.00 and the III of $25 188 000.00.

Depreciation: depreciation of tools and equipment was calculated using the ratio of the initial value and the useful life of equipment to 30 years and annually. Category I is $1 646.67, the II $12 586.67 and III $31 563.67.

Breakeven: to determine the breakeven a picture of cash flow was performed, a graph was prepared to locate what year do not have gain or loss. For category I breakeven in the year 10, in the II year 7 and III in year 9, and from that year the producer begins to have positive earnings.

Update factor: to calculate the discount factor should be taken into account a discount rate or the interest the bank charges for acquiring a resource; they were taken as a basis interest rates defined by trusts instituted in relation to Agriculture (FIRA, 2011) where a rate of 15% for this work was determined. Calculation of indicators cost benefit ratio, net present value and internal rate of return for category I, II and III. In category I B/C is 1.34, the VAN is $13 747 033.75 and the TIR is 26%. For category II B/C is 1.66, the VAN is $84 025 071.11 and the TIR is 34%. Finally in category III B/C is 1.43, the VAN is $118 255 773.40, and the TIR is 18%.

Socioeconomic assessment of the UPF coffee-banana- citrus traditional agroforestry system in municipality of Tlapacoyan, Veracruz

Gross product: the PB total in 30 years for category I is $3 125 700.00, in the II of $12 062 400.00 and the III of $25 188 000.00.

Intermediate costs: calculated to a period of 30 years is the life time has this agroforestry system. For this calculation the hand hired labor is not considered as an input. The total intermediate cost in 30 years for category I is $660 373.20 in the II is $2 186 695.20 and the III of $7 655 179.20.

Gross added value: for this indicator was calculated by the sum of the 30 years of the crude and intermediate costs. For category I is $2 465 326.80, in the II is $9 875 704.80 and the III is $17 532 820.80. In the Table 1 shows the calculation for this indicator is shown.

Table 1 Calculation of gross value added for category I, II and III of the coffee-banana-citrus traditional 

Net value added: for this indicator was calculated first the amount of labor that they hire (Table 2); subsequently deprecations and taxes.

Table 2 Calculation of labor for category I, II and III of the coffee-banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system. 

In the case of category I freight was considered because they have the means to carry their inputs to the farm and this gives them a cost.

For category I VAN it is $1 382 750.80, for II of $8 662 968.80 and for category III is $19 024 164.80 (Table 3).

Table 3 Calculation of net value added for category I, II and III of the coffee-banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system. 

Productivity of labor: is obtained by the ratio of net value added and total wages to 30 years. For category I it is $257.35, the II of $456.19 and III of $344.02 (Table 4).

Table 4 Calculation of productivity of labor for category I, II and III of the coffee-banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system. 


Agronomic characterization of the coffee-banana- citrus in Tlapacoyan, Veracruz traditional agroforestry system, describes that producers are knowledgeable in the comprehensive management of all three components (coffee, banana and citrus) and have integrated its productive practice; and is also a system that requires a lot of manpower.

The financial indicators evaluated are economically viable because they have a benefit cost ratio (B/C) greater than 1, the net present value (VAN) presents positive amounts. The internal rate of return (TIR) was higher than the interest rate (15%); this helps to make proposals for agroforestry systems to acquire some credit or resource by governmental or non- governmental organizations.

Coffee-banana-citrus traditional agroforestry system in the municipality of Tlapacoyan, Veracruz, is more productive than monocultures because it produces 0.33 times more than an equivalent area of land planted in monoculture.

The calculation of socioeconomic indicators in the coffee- banana-citrus traditional agroforestry systems showed that productivity of labor (PMO) is greater than the opportunity cost in the region and land productivity (PT) indicates that obtained higher productivity of the land when the surface is less; these results contribute to this agroforestry system continues to play through time and producers do not abandon this activity.

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Received: December 2015; Accepted: March 2016

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