Cotton Production Drops 35 Percent in Mexico
In 2020, cotton production plummeted 35 percent in Mexico, according to data by the National Cotton Product System Committee. “If the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) continues to restrict the purchase of GMO seeds in Mexico, the harvest of this product will fall by 50 percent,” Raúl Treviño, President of the organization, told La Jornada.
The problem, however, is not only in Mexico. According to Agencia Agrícola de Noticias, world cotton consumption will reach 24.9 million tons in the 2020-2021 period, against the 22.2 million tons registered in 2018-2019 as a result of the constraints caused by the pandemic. One of the reasons for this contraction in consumption is the lockdowns affecting major consumption centers including the EU, the US, Canada, China, Australia and Japan. In addition, there is also the loss of purchasing power among many consumers.
As for Mexico, the 2017-2030 Forecast Report published by SADER estimates that over the next ten years, there could be a 14.3 percent margin between production and consumption, a significant figure compared to the 4.45 percent registered in the 2019-2020 period. SADER recommends a comprehensive strategy to maximize production while supporting consumption through diversified imports from other producing countries like Greece, Brazil and Argentina.
Cotton is one of the 20 most essential commodities in the world in terms of value. According to El Economista, it is estimated that 350 million people work in the cotton industry worldwide. According to SADER data, Mexico is the ninth-largest cotton producer in the world, with an annual production of 1.2 million tons. “Cotton is much more than a commodity; it is a culture and a way of life,” FAO General Director Qu Dongyu recently said. “Cotton provides employment and income to some of the world’s poorest or most remote rural areas,” he added.