This week, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) forecasted a positive 2022 but food prices are still rising in Mexico and abroad, reaching never before seen levels and leading the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to warn about a potential rise of world hunger.
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SADER’s forecasted a positive 2022 for Mexico’s agricultural sector given the increase in production and coming rainy season. Overall, agri-food production is expected to grow during 2022 following stronger efforts in the transparent management of resources, direct support, incentives to small and medium-scale producers and accountability. However, there are still many challenges, such as the mitigation and adaptation of agriculture to the effects of climate change and working with an inclusive scheme that recognizes that there are two types of agriculture: commercial and self-consumption.
Global food prices fell slightly in Dec. 2021. However, they were still markedly higher during the year than in 2020. 2021 was the year with the highest food price index since 2018, according to FAO. High food prices directly affect global famine. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 13.8 million people joined the ranks of those suffering from hunger and five out of 10 people living in Mexico lack access to enough products to meet their basic needs.
Laura Tamayo, Director of Public Affairs, Sustainability and Communications, Bayer Mexico, discussed in MBN the actions necessary to increase food production in a context in which arable land is overexploited and largely impacted by climate change. This challenge must be met by ensuring the care and preservation of natural reserves that allow flora, fauna and humans to survive together. A large issue is discovering how to produce more using fewer natural resources, which could be addressed by implementing research, science and development in fields, she added. As in many other industries, digital transformation and innovation are already a reality in agriculture and are transforming the way food is produced.
From Jan. to Nov. 2021, the total value of Mexican agri-food exports to the US amounted to US$35.28 billion, which represents a 15 percent increase compared to the same period in 2020. SADER reports that beer, tequila, and avocado ranked as the main Mexican agricultural products for export to the US market.