Associations Step Up Fight Against Hunger, Investment AttractionBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 09/15/2021 - 15:48
This week, the battle against world hunger continues with organizations targeting food waste. Mexico seeks to promote agriculture in its south, which could benefit both the region and future investors. Meanwhile, green chili and other foodstuffs reach new production highs and officials are discussing the provision of , agricultural aid to benefit farmers.
Interested in more? Here are the week’s major headlines in Agribusiness & Food!
- The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stepped up its efforts to fight one of the most severe problems affecting communities worldwide: hunger. FAO recently announced new effort to prevent food waste. Threats to food security are increasing, especially in rural areas, requiring flexible strategies to fight these problems. Over the past five years, the number of people affected by a food crisis has continued to rise, reaching 155 million people in 55 countries in 2020. Humanitarian funding for the food sector remains inadequate despite the extensive evidence that preventive actions that allow vulnerable rural communities to become more resilient to disasters are far more cost-effective than providing assistance. Since the pandemic began, poor communities around the world have repeatedly been sending a clear and urgent message: “We will die sooner from hunger than from COVID-19.”
- Mexico seeks to promote investment projects in the agricultural, fishing and aquaculture sectors, mainly in the country’s southeast since it is a region with high productive potential. In an official announcement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Víctor Villalobos Arámbula said that, historically, investments had prioritized the north-central region of the country, but the Ministry will focus on the south to increase responsible and inclusive production. Investment in the region and better management of public goods are expected to lead to growth. The Ministry will seek to support export-oriented projects and promote the cultivation of rice and perennials of high product quality in the south-southeast, with a focus on circular and agroecological agriculture. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico’s agricultural sector had continued to grow exponentially from its lowest point in 2018, when it amounted to US$16.67 million. Mexico saw the highest flow of FDI of the decade in 2013 when it amounted to about US$132 million. In 2019, the production value of agricultural crops in Mexico exceeded MX$675 million (US$33.9 million), which represented an increase of about 5.4 percent year on year.
- Green pepper production in Mexico grew 2.7 percent. Chili is produced in practically the entire country, which produces the largest variety of peppers worldwide. The national per capita consumption is 17.2 kg. The largest producers of chili are Sinaloa with 648,222 tons, Zacatecas with 458,943 tons, San Luis Potosi with 327,124 tons, Sonora with 223,432 tons and Jalisco with 189,611 tons.
- FAO, UNDP and UNEP estimate that 87 percent of agricultural aid provided by governments distorts market prices or is detrimental to nature and human health. In a recent report, FAO mentions that “current support to agricultural producers consists mainly of price incentives, such as import tariffs and export subsidies, as well as fiscal subsidies that are linked to the production of a specific material or input. These are inefficient, distort food prices, harm people’s health, degrade the environment, and are often unfair, putting large agricultural companies ahead of small farmers, a large part of the population, women.” For this reason, the UN asked to redirect US$470 million in agricultural aid that distorts prices and hinders social and environmental efforts.