Corn takes the SpotlightBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 04/01/2021 - 09:24
By the end of this year, Mexico will not meet its expected corn production goal. Official figures released by the statistical agency SIAP of the Ministry of Agriculture reveal there is an estimate of producing 27 million tons; nevertheless, these figures are not certain due to budget cuts that continue to be made.
Juan Pablo Rojas, president of the CNPAMM federation, explained that the government’s direct cash payments program for more than two million small farmers is unlikely to increase production, despite official claims that say otherwise. . The problem is that corn production has continued to decline. Last year, corn’s national production reached 27.5 million tons. According to the SIAP, corn production in 2021 will be 26.9 million tons, which represents two percent less than in 2020. The SIAP has no way of knowing how much is being produced, or how much is going to be produced because it does not have technical personnel in the sector to verify that information,” said Rojas
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- Analysts warn that the herbicide ban, droughts and trade concerns could stop Mexico from reaching its 27 million tons corn target production in 2021. The Ministry of Agriculture (Sader) has suffered from budget restraints that have affected farmers and crops. As a result, Rojas estimates that Sader’s projection that the country would produce nearly 27 million tons of corn is not realistic. In addition, the administration decided on Dec. 31, 2020, to implement a decree to gradually replace the use, acquisition, distribution, promotion and import of glyphosate.
- Trade relationships between US and Mexican agribusiness companies are in jeopardy due to an agri trade decline, after a statement sent by US agricultural associations to Thomas Vilsack, US Minister of Agriculture, and Katherine Kai, US Trade Representative. “Mexico is one of the most important food and agricultural trading partners for the US. NAFTA has brought substantial benefits to both countries and USMCA promises to increase trade. However, the agri-food trade relationship with Mexico has declined, a trend that the USMCA has not reversed.” SADER reported that the decision to eliminate glyphosate by 2024 is part of the administration’s interest in building new commitments that will benefit people´s health , the environment, social justice, food sovereignty, and technological independence. Turning agriculture into a biodiversity-friendly activity necessarily requires the intervention of technology, but it also involves efforts to validate those technologies. SADER also mentions the increasing trade barriers in dairy products, organic certification requirements for export, and biotechnology’s approval, among several other demands.
- Officials at the National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (Senasica) inspected more than 43 million tons of regulated agri-food products. By doing this, they avoided the entry of 117 pests of quarantine importance that could pose a risk to food production in Mexico. Among the pest species found were the Khapra weevil, considered worldwide as one of the most devastating insects of grains and seeds. Of the total rejections, 69 percent corresponded to animal origin, 25 to vegetable origin and 6 percent to aquaculture merchandise, according to SADER.