Proposed 2021 Agri Budget Leaves Livestock Sector in the ColdBy Jan Hogewoning | Mon, 12/14/2020 - 10:41
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is set to receive a 3.6 percent increase in operating budget compared to 2020, according to Federation Expenditure Budget (PEF) for 2021. While the budget has seen a slight increase, it is approximately 25 percent less than the 2019 budget. The Consulting Group of Agricultural Markets (GCMA) reports that the budget has allocated more resources to certain areas, while leaving others with almost no support.
The 2020 budget for the ministry is set at MX$49,291.6 million pesos (US$2.45 billion). GCMA concludes that the programs which are said to benefit the most are the presidential programs (Fertilizer Production Program, Sembrando Vida, among others), which will see a 10.7 percent increase compared to 2019. These are expected to receive MX$31,530.6 million pesos (US$1.56 billion), equivalent to 63.9 percent of the total budget.
According to the GCMA report, the National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (Senasica), will face a 14.73 percent reduction in funds , with an operating budget of MX$3,223.1 million pesos (US$160.4 million). Different organizations are now saying this budget reduction poses a significant risk to the country’s livestock, particularly with the threat of Avian Influenza and African Swine Fever (ASF), reports Porcicultura. The National Union of Poultry Farmers (UNA), the Veterinary Pharmaceutical Industry (Infarvet), the Organization of Mexican Pig Farmers (Opormex) and the Livestock Commission of the Chamber of Deputies have agreed these budget reduction measures leave farms 'completely unprotected', especially with regards to the health of livestock.
The president of the Livestock Commission in the Lower House, Eduardo Ron Ramos, stated in the past week that the budget is not congruent with the needs of the industry. He criticized the increase of 4.7 percent in resources that is to be allocated to Sembrando Vida, a program that he claims is a public policy failure saying that only seven percent of its resources have produced any promising results. He pointed out that only the Guarantee Prices program would boost the livestock sector, given that Liconsa is set to purchase cow milk for MX$8.20 pesos a liter. On the other hand, this agency is struggling with a MX25 million (US$1.24 million) debt as a result of similar past purchasing schemes.
Another important fact for the livestock industry is that for next year the Credit by word for Livestock farmers will not receive any resources. In 2019, this program received MX$4 billion (US$199 million). This scheme was dismantled at the beginning of 2020, after multiple denouncements from producers, who alleged corruption by its leaders.