Organizations Ask the Government to Strengthen Cotton ProductionBy María Fernanda Barría | Thu, 03/04/2021 - 10:02
Different Mexican cotton producers have requested an audience with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to present him the “Del Campo al Aparador” (From the Field to the Window Display) program. The National Committee of the Cotton Product System, the National Chamber of the Textile Industry (CANAINTEX) and AgroBio México presented the project to curb illegality, corruption, unfair trade practices and promote the production and availability of cotton seeds. The goal is to generate 350,000 direct jobs in the first three years of the program.
Manuel Espinosa, President of CANAINTEX, pointed out that unfair trade practices represent losses of US$16.5 billion in the cotton-textile chain, which generates more than 1 million jobs in Mexico. “The idea of the program is not to ask the government for funds. We just want the government's help to end illegality and access state-of-the-art seeds. The objective is to meet with the president to show him all the data collected so the government can implement it,” said Espinosa.
Relbo Treviño, President of the National Committee of the Cotton Product System, pointed out that the Mexican textile industry demands more than 2 million bales of cotton annually. He pointed out that almost 100 percent of the cotton grown in Mexico is transgenic and that the seeds, which are suitable for five to seven years, must be renewed. He also stressed that the program does not require financial support but compliance and authorization for new generation seeds.
According to Cristian García de Paz, CEO of AgroBio, there are only 24 genetically modified (GM) crops available in the world today. “Of these, only nine are available in Mexico and only four are of commercial interest. In Mexico, the only two GM crops grown are cotton and forage alfalfa,” said García de Paz in an interview with MBN. “Argentina is one of the countries that has maintained its efforts in agriculture despite its ongoing political and economic crisis, just like Brazil. Mexico, which could become the leading producer in Latin America, is not taking advantage of this opportunity.”
During 2020, cotton plots were reduced by 30 to 35 percent due to the lack of GM seeds to continue the crop. The representative of the National Committee of the Cotton Product System said the committee is waiting to meet with the Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT).