Nochebuena Production Lower; Water Levels CriticalBy MBN Staff | Thu, 12/31/2020 - 13:47
COVID-19 caused flower farmers to reduce the production of the season’s symbolic flower, Nochebuena, this year. Meanwhile, low water levels are a threat to agricultural production in several producing states and Mexico is making itself known in Asia as it pushes the country’s food production in the Far East.
All this and more in the Week in Agribusiness & Food.
The pandemic forced Mexico’s flower farmers to reduce the crop size of one of the season’s most emblematic flowers, the Poinsettia – known as Nochebuena in Spanish.
Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) show that this year’s 16-million flower crop was three million smaller than last year’s harvest. This was because, SADER explained, farmers had taken into account restrictions on movement when planting in May. The 16 million plants required 240.6ha space for planting. Mexico City, Morelos, Puebla and Jalisco were the states that grew the most Nochebuenas.
“We acknowledge the country's producers, especially those of flowers, because, despite restrictions due to the sanitary emergency and the social distancing and safety measures, they have not stopped producing,” said SADER.
Critically low water levels in 16 dams in Sinaloa, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Michoacan and Chihuahua may well limit the autumn-winter 2020/2021 crop cycle thus leading to higher imports of basic grains into Mexico, the Agricultural Markets Consulting Group (GCMA) says. Water levels in the dams of these states have dropped by 44.2 percent in comparison to the same period last year and currently accounts for 34.2 percent of Mexico’s entire water availability.
The figures come just week after a series of protests in Chihuahua against the transport of water to the US to pay off water debts.
Representatives from Mexico’s agribusiness industry are making their presence felt in forums in Asia, including SWITCH in Singapore and FOODEX JAPAN, in the hope of generating more interest in the region for Mexican products.
At FOODEX JAPAN, scheduled for March 2021, participants include companies focused on the production avocado, berries, lemons, grapefruit, mango, tequila and agave syrup, from states including Michoacán, Jalisco, Colima and Guanajuato.
Recent data shows that Mexico’s agriculture industry remains an attractive opportunity for foreign investment during the pandemic and the country’s agricultural sector recently marked a 26-year trade surplus high.