Financing Needed for the Sector to EvolveBy Sofía Hanna | Fri, 02/19/2021 - 18:54
Agriculture in Mexico has been growing rapidly for the last couple of years. Not only is it taking a more sustainable approach, but there are also initiatives to promote technological change in the field. During a conference, Víctor Villalobos, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, talked about these advances and the need for financing to push the sector even further.
Baldemar Hernández, head of the National Fund for Agriculture, Rural, Forestry and Fisheries Development (FND), who was also at the conference, said “credit schemes should be consolidated as an innovation tool, promoting inclusion of producers who have not had access to financing or support for their activities,” according to the SADER report. Villalobos also mentioned that by receiving financing, more entrepreneurs and producers could achieve better development, working toward food self-sufficiency and an improvement in general agriculture activities.
Villalobos said financing plans would be focused on small and medium-scale producers, farmers, ranchers and fishermen who really have credit needs, while raising awareness regarding water and soil care. “Technological changes implemented through financing must be respectful of the environment and natural resources and must contribute to guaranteeing benefits to producers with the highest possible productivity,” reported SADER.
Boosting financial inclusion to promote the development of the country has been a recurring issue, even more considering that only 9.9 percent of the 5.3 million rural producers in Mexico have access to credit, according to an FND release. In the same release, Sara Sandin Orea, Head of the Development Banking Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, mentioned that small producers in the rural sector play a predominant role in the 2019-2024 national development plan. Without supporting them, the objectives only move further away, she said.
A previous MBN article mentions how Artificial Intelligence (AI) helped the agriculture sector to evolve toward a more sustainable and protected reality. SADER and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have been presenting initiatives, like the one mentioned above, to help AI tools and financing to reach small and medium-scale producers. Education is also a pressing issue in the sector. Artisanal processes are still used when preparing the land for sowing and in the distribution of spaces for land use, according to an Agrifood and Fisheries Information Service release. Some of these traditional methods are good as long as they are complemented with technological tools so the field remains productive and evolves according to the latest advances.