Improving the Agricultural Sector One Step at a TimeBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 01/20/2022 - 16:14
This week, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) introduced more precautions to fight antimicrobial resistance and plans to improve the lives of agricultural workers and farmers to strengthen the sector and its production chain. The ministry is also planning to create the Inter-American Congress on Water, Soil and Agrobiodiversity.
Meanwhile, the role of women in water management has become more complex due to the pandemic.
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SADER launched a campaign to promote the proper use of medicines in the agricultural sector, specifically to reduce antimicrobial resistance in livestock. By raising awareness on this issue and by giving more information on how to use antibiotics properly, SADER expects to prevent a bigger problem. According to UISDC and SENASICA’s data, multiple bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are already showing resistance to drugs used in crops and animal populations to prevent production losses. Resistant parasites could lead to significant agricultural losses and the mutation of pests and diseases. Various international organizations like World Health Organization (WHO), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Animal Health Organization (OIE) attended the seminar to promote safe practices to avoid the further propagation of antimicrobial-resistant organisms.
The activities of agricultural day laborers are an essential component of the Mexican economy since they contribute to ensuring food security and help the country remain one of the main exporters of agricultural products, said Víctor Villalobos Arámbula, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. The ministry is developing measures to support agricultural day laborers by providing them more and better job opportunities. “To advance in this purpose, [the ministry] will carry out, based on data from the Agrifood and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), the analysis of the territory, production areas and the agricultural products for national consumption and export, where migrant agricultural laborers work.”
The role of women in water management was made invisible by the pandemic. “UNICEF has estimated that, collectively, women and girls spend more than 200 million hours a day collecting water, and recognizes that collecting water reduces their ability to engage in school, recreation or searching for alternatives to achieve their economic independence,” according to an article published in SciDevNet. This is especially the case in places without drinking water or facilities such as bathrooms, toilets and sanitary products, which hurt women the most by affecting their hygiene and menstrual health. The pandemic also deepened the inequalities in water management that women in rural and urban communities have experienced for decades. In addition, agriculture is usually practiced as a primary economic activity in these areas and it is the activity that consumes most water, so management of the liquid by women takes a more important role, said FAO.
SADER began the organization of the Inter-American Congress on Water, Soil and Agrobiodiversity, which aims to analyze the current state of natural resources for food production, sustainable practices and restoration actions, among other activities. The congress aims to help producers, professionals, researchers and decision-makers at the three levels of government to learn about the innovations and technologies being implemented in different regions of the continent.