Integrated organic rabbit farming facility.
Alternativa Agrícola Suchixtepec is a company run by members of the Salinas family. It began as a tree nursery that grew pines and oaks for reforestation. Later, they cultivated fruit trees used for agroforestry in the corn crops, alternating the milpa system and fruit plantations, both from the family and the community. Milpa is a multi-crop system composed of edible crops like beans, peppers, corn, and other herbs that do not degrade soil fertility. The combination of the milpa system and fruit plantations is a practice related to agroforestry known as milpa interchanged with fruit trees (MIAF), which provides agricultural benefits that take place on steep mountainsides.
Raising rabbits was included in the Salinas family’s operations, as it brought environmental and health benefits. Rabbit farming provides frequent animal waste that is reused in the farm’s compost, and it is also a source of healthy, lean animal protein for consumption. Seeing the potential of raising rabbits for their meat and for their farm, the family decided to focus on this practice.
Alternativa Agrícola Suchixtepec pursues to develop production dynamics that do not harm the environment in the ways that commercial agriculture does: overexploiting soil and water resources. The company’s vision of the production, for example, does not contemplate the overuse of synthetic fertilizers as it’s common in the area, and will instead rely on the rabbits’ waste. If realized, the Salinas family’s operation will serve as an example that sustainable, environmentally-friendly agriculture is possible in the area.
We want to reinforce several areas of our rabbit farming. We want to have better facilities for meat production, consolidate our market, and position our products in the regional, state, or national market. We always avoid excessive or industrial production, but look for local production, with rabbit meat of nutritional quality that does not harm the environment. (...) I want people to know that to produce they don't have to damage nature, that they become aware of the content, origin, and impact of their product.