Mexico, US Develop Scientific Collaboration in Agri-Food IndustryBy María Fernanda Barría | Mon, 03/08/2021 - 15:44
The Ministers of Agriculture of Mexico and the US, Víctor Villalobos and Thomas James Vilsack, recently held a meeting to promote collaboration agreements between the two countries. During the meeting, which also hosted Presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Joe Biden, the importance of scientific and technological knowledge was recognized to continue growing and face the challenges of nature, reported SADER.
“Technological knowledge is fundamental to face climate phenomena. The objective is to achieve better production and guarantee food security,” Villalobos said after the meeting. Vilsack highlighted the joint work carried out by both countries. “USMCA became relevant in the context of the pandemic,” he said.
This first meeting between the heads of agriculture of both countries took place one day after the virtual meeting between López Obrador and Biden. Villalobos and Vilsack vowed to ensure agriculture, a strategic sector on both sides of the border, continues to grow. “We are working on increasing productivity through sustainable practices. The goal is to make North America self-sufficient,” said Vilsack.
Talks on agriculture between Mexico and the US will continue in the future, as Villalobos is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C. to continue working on bilateral agriculture policy. The agenda includes talks on the development of biotechnology for fertilizer management, pest and disease management to harmonize sanitary protocols and access to the US market, according to Forbes.
In 2020, agri-food and fisheries trade between Mexico and the US reached US$52.9 billion, according to data from the Ministry of Economy. This represents an increase of around 6 percent compared to 2019. “Mexico is convinced of the need to guarantee accessibility to technologies among low-income producers, adapting it, when required, to local needs,” said Villalobos. He added that it is not possible to think that a solution to the current crisis can be reached while regions or groups are lagging behind, without the capacity to protect themselves from COVID-19 and the vulnerabilities brought by other natural phenomena.