President Enrique Peña Nieto this week opened what is being described as the world’s largest beef processing plant, a 10-billion-peso (US $580-million) facility in Tlahualilo, Durango.
The Agroparque Integradora SuKarne Lucero has the capacity to feed 300,000 head of cattle daily and will provide 3,552 direct jobs and 2,368 indirect.
It will also offer business opportunities to 18,000 potential suppliers, from agricultural producers to cattle ranchers.
Yellow corn is among the crops that will be in high demand. Durango Governor Jorge Herrera Caldera said at Tuesday’s ceremony that three years ago the state had the capacity to produce 3,000 tonnes annually.
Today it can produce 25,000 tonnes to supply the new plant, a quantity that represents 35-40% of its requirements. The balance will be imported from the United States.
The governor said that instead of growing white corn or beans, farmers can plant yellow corn under contract at a fixed minimum price.
If corn prices rise, the price paid to farmers will also go up. If it drops, farmers will continue to receive the fixed price.
The new plant, situated on 474 hectares of land in the municipality of Tlahualilo, will not only produce beef for export to Europe and Asia. It will also output 250,000 tonnes a year of organic fertilizer and 45,000 tonnes of meat-and-bonemeal and fat.
Based in Culiacán, Sinaloa, SuKarne is a multinational corporation whose exports of beef, pork and chicken represent 76% of the market.
Mexico is the world’s eighth largest beef producer, and the second largest exporter of live cattle.