The present work was carried out in 2008 with the objective of determining the alfalfa chain research needs in the state of Hidalgo. The productive chain approach was used and the following five steps were also carried out: i) Chain characterization, ii) Identification of critical factors, iii) Identification of research demands iv) Identification of research supply and v) Identification of research needs. Among the most outstanding results we have: the development of an alfalfa chain conceptual model integrated by 6 links and 25 segments; identification of 19 critical factors; identification of 17 demands including 12 regarding research, validation, and technology transfer and 5 regarding design and policy strategies; identification of 97 products supplied by research including 29% on varieties' generation and validation, 15% on plague and disease control, 11% on efficient water usage, and 2% on cut methods. In conclusion, 60% of the supply takes care of the identified demands, and needs exist in: validation and transfer of high productive potential alfalfa varieties; generation of new products, design of an updated catalogue regarding the main plagues and diseases that harm the alfalfa culture as well as a control method; training and technology transfer regarding the efficient irrigation water usage; design of agricultural machinery for alfalfa cut and packing, and training producers on seeds production.


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