Mexico Supports International Trade Through Agricultural ServicesBy Eliza Galeana | Mon, 09/12/2022 - 11:40
During the First International Conference on Trade in Agricultural Services, titled “Trade in Agricultural Services: “A New Model for Economic and Trade Cooperation” and held in Beijing, China, Mexico took a stand to generate inclusive, equitable and fair international trade in agricultural services, arguing that this would benefit small-scale producers and contribute to global food security. Victor Villalobos, Mexico’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, added that sharing the benefits of international agricultural services will contribute to better development of agriculture.
The global market for agricultural products has had to confront many challenges, including geopolitical risk, volatile trade policies and growing labor shortages. “Trade in agricultural services will become a new growth point for companies to invest in related projects, as well as helping secure the global food supply in the future,” stated Villalobos.
The Minister pointed out that trade in services represented a breaking point for countries that have efficiently innovated in logistics, consultancy, financial services and technology, among other areas, contributing to the development of their economies. In Mexico’s case, these services included the certification of analyses for herbicides, fertilizers, regulation, seed qualification and certification, information and geospatial services, technical advice, logistics and operation of machinery and equipment, among others.
Villalobos also highlighted the importance of public entities such as the National Institute for Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP), which offers laboratory analysis services that support the productivity and competitiveness of supply chains of forests, agriculture and livestock. He also recognized the importance of the National Seed Inspection and Certification Service (SNICS). This entity offers services for seed qualification and procedures to register plant varieties.
Villalobos furthermore mentioned the Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP), which provides geospatial information and technology through the Ermex satellite antenna. Likewise, he said, the National Service of Health, Safety and Agri-food Quality (SENASICA) is a fundamental actor to guarantee the highest standards related to authorization, certification, registration and sale of agricultural pesticides and organic production. Finally, he addressed the relevance of the Agricultural Science Center network for offering advisory services.
Food security served as the guiding thread through the conference. Ma Youxiang, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China (MARA) pointed out that global food security is now at risk. In order to increase agricultural productivity, ensure undisrupted and efficient supply chains and achieve the goal of eradicating hunger, the world needs to realize a steady growth in cross-border agricultural investment and trade.
The conference gathered representatives from government agencies, international organizations, agriculture-related multinational enterprises and business associations, as well as ministers and ambassadors from countries including Mexico, China and the Netherlands.