Tequila boom rooted in traditional farming techniques

A growing thirst for tequila from New York to Tokyo has made the sale of the drink into a multibillion-dollar industry, but its production remains rooted in centuries-old methods of farming using hand tools and packs of mules.

Mexico’s western state of Jalisco is the heartland of the tequila industry, where ‘jimadores,’ the farmers of the agave cactus from which the spirit is distilled, have worked the fields for generations.

“I am so proud to be a jimador, we are the first in the chain of the tequila industry, without us there is no tequila,” said Mario Perez, a 39-year-old jimador.

But the popularity of tequila has driven a worsening shortage of the agave, while some of the younger generation shun what was once a highly respected job.

“In the old days to be a . . .

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