Hurricane Otis caused severe damage to the agricultural industry in the state of Guerrero. Mango, coconut, and corn producers were particularly affected by the strong winds and heavy rainfall. These disruptions are likely to affect the prices of these products.
According to data from the Agricultural and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), Guerrero ranks 19th in terms of the highest agricultural productive value in the country. However, it stands out as the leading national producer of coconut and mango. Data collected by the Agricultural Markets Consulting Group (GCMA) shows annual yields of 194,000t valued at MX$1.7 billion (US$96.5 million) for coconuts and 411,000t valued at MX$3.3 billion for mangoes.
Luis Eduardo González, President, Mexican Union of Agrochemical Manufacturers and Formulators (UMFFAAC), highlighted that most producers in the state focus on subsistence farming, as a significant portion of the state's production remains within the region. “The lemons in the tourist area are produced there, and crops like mangoes, papayas, and all those we see in restaurants and hotels, are produced in Guerrero. People from several municipalities adjacent to the coast are agricultural producers," he explained.
The situation for corn, primarily sourced locally by both companies and the population, faced significant losses. Only about 7% of the grain had been harvested before the hurricane, resulting in near-total loss for this year's production. UMFFAAC stressed that Guerrero's agricultural situation will require support from other states that cultivate corn to meet internal demand.
González also noted that the lack of local supplies will force businesses and families to seek provisions from neighboring states, despite the damaged roads, leading to increased prices. On Nov. 7, 2023, the National Alliance of Small Businesses (ANPEC) reported a significant rise in food prices, with increases of up to 70%.
GCMA emphasized that farmers in Guerrero require direct support, temporary employment programs, provision of basic goods in warehouses and rural stores, and restructuring of agricultural-related credits to begin their path to recovery after Otis.
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