Use of supply chain planning tools for efficiently placing small farmers into high-value, vegetable markets

Hector Flores, Jesus Villalobos, Omar Ahumada, Mark Uchanski, Cesar Meneses, Octavio Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The availability of new information technologies, as well as changes in agricultural markets and their underlying distribution and logistics channels, present new challenges and opportunities to small and medium size farmers. This is particularly true for farmers in emerging economies that very often grow traditional crops whose profits, as observed by small farmers, seem to continuously shrink. The availability of protected agriculture and information technologies promise to open new opportunities, particularly in the fresh produce supply chain. In this paper, we introduce an integrated supply chain planning tool for fresh vegetables that takes into consideration the characteristics and resources of three specific states in Mexico, to make recommendations in terms of the crops to be planted, the timing of planting and harvesting, and what markets to target such that the farmers’ profits are maximized. Also relevant is the selection of the appropriate agriculture technology level (e.g. open field, shade structures, or greenhouse) within each region analyzed. A case study based on fresh produce exporting regions of Mexico is presented. The results of the case study show that the judicious use of protected agriculture technology can render significant additional profits for farmers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-217
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
StatePublished - Feb 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Horticulture


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