Image credits: Harold Litwiler
Weekly Roundups

"Milpa Intercalada" Raises Income, Fights Climate Change

By Jan Hogewoning | Thu, 08/27/2020 - 17:01

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of its foundation, the National Institute for Forestry, Agricultural and Fishery Research (INIFAP) has been holding a series of video conferences and presentations. One of the conclusions presented was how the mixed agriculture system of Milpa Intercalada (planting fruit trees together with crops such as bean or corn) has helped increase growers’ income and mitigated climate change. Among the suitable fruits they suggested for this type of system are peach, apple, guava, avocado, Persian lime and sapodilla, depending on the temperate, tropical or subtropical climate.  


Interested in more? Here are the week’s biggest headlines in Agribusiness & Food!


Government Affairs

The head of the local office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) in the state of Puebla resigned this week after a video emerged of him allegedly carrying out acts of corruption.

According to Vice Minister of Food and Competitiveness Víctor Suárez, the Production for Well-Being program is making significant advances in attracting the participation of indigenous communities. In 2019, 227,000 people were added to the program, representing 87.6 percent of its goal.


Trade & Trade Policy

After Florida fruit growers addressed the US Trade Representative office on Aug. 13, Georgia growers are getting their turn on Aug. 27. Lamenting the low prices of Mexican produce, particularly blueberries and pecans, they want authorities to invoke Section 301 tariff actions.

Juan Carlos Anaya, General Director of GCMA, stated this week that in order to meet demand in industrial food production, including animal feed production, Mexico will need to import a record quantity of 17.7 million metric tons of corn this year.

Despite an uncertain start due to a range of issues including a lack of security, together with the COVID-19 crisis, Mexico’s avocado production managed to exceed 9,000 tons in July, meaning a new record for the first seven months of the year. While it represents an increase of only 0.85 percent compared to the same period last year, it is the first positive figure posted this year. Read more about Mexico’s impressive track record in green gold, here.


Agribusiness announcements & events

Agri-chemicals firm Syngenta is on track to issue its public listing by 2022, the company said on Aug. 27. The firm managed to post higher profits in 1H20, as it managed to maintain supplies to farmers and control costs during the COVID-19 crisis, Reuters reports.

HSBC is joining forces with climate change advisory firm Pollination to form a ‘natural capital’ asset management venture. The aim is to set a value on resources including water, soil and air to protect the environment, according to Reuters.

Coca-Cola FEMSA, the conglomeration which operates the world's largest Coca-Cola bottler by volume, has announced it is issuing a green bond worth US$705 million. It hopes to use the resources to invest in climate change and sustainability related projects.

The US National Black Farmers Association filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday in which it seeks to force Bayer AG to stop selling its Roundup (Glyphosate) non-selective herbicide or include new product warnings. Bayer already agreed this June to pay approximately US$10.9 billion to settle nearly 100,000 U.S. lawsuits linking Roundup with cancer cases, Reuters reports. The weedkiller has also been at the center of a dispute between SADER and SEMARNAT over the last few weeks.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
SADER, Mexico Business News, Reuters, Agronoticias, FEMSA
Photo by:   Harold Litwiler
Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst