Agricultural Sector Essential for Economic RecoveryBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 04/30/2021 - 16:08
Recently, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Víctor Manuel Villalobos Arámbula presented the Food Expectations 2121 report, mentioning that since the pandemic started the sector grew 2 percent while the overall economy fell 9.8 percent. Mexico turned into a leading food producer globally with about 290 million tons of produce. During the presentation, he also mentioned that the agri-food sector has become essential for the country’s economic recovery.
According to the IICA Blog, the growth of the world and regional economies in the short and medium-term will depend on their ability to support people and companies affected by the pause in economic activity. It will also depend on their preparation to return to normal activities once the virus is contained. “The intensity and depth of the effects will depend on many factors, such as whether they are sectors or products considered essential (including food), whether the economies are open or closed, whether the dependence on commodity trade is high, if it is a net importer of food, if it is highly dependent on tourism or the vein of oil and metals, and it will also depend on the measures and the response capacity of the countries, which in turn depends on the financial health of the country before the outbreak of the crisis,” says an IICA analysis.
In Mexico, the agri-food sector has continued to advance and grow despite the global economic slowdown, reduced international trade, risk aversion and sanitary measures. The new president of the National Agricultural Council (CNA), Juan Cortina Gallardo, mentions in a Forbes article, “(Agribusiness is) key to foreign exchange since we export US$40 billion annually and have an agri-food surplus of more than US$ 11 billion ... (The sector) is key to (economic) growth because even in adversity, it continues to be a powerful economic engine.” Agribusiness has also been responsible for employing 7 million people.
During the presentation of Agrifood Expectations 2121, Villalobos clarified that the main objective for this year will be to exceed the goals achieved in 2020 and that the sector continues to be a resilient area that grows despite adversity. According to Forbes, in the short term, the countryside will continue working to ensure food availability in Mexico and production chains must be strengthened to maintain trade flows abroad.