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News Article

Sembrando Vida Now Part of COVID-19 Strategy

By Jan Hogewoning | Mon, 04/06/2020 - 14:36

On Sunday April 6, President López Obrador announced a new series of measures to counter the impact of COVID-19. One of the announcements was the intention to expand the Sembrando Vida program by adding another 200,000 workers.

Sembrando Vida, which has been active for over a year, “contributes to the social welfare of the agrarian population in their rural localities and promotes their effective participation in integral development,” according to its website. The vision of improving rural lives has been a central component of this government’s agenda, with programs such as guaranteed purchase prices for agricultural goods and fertilizers for small and medium scale farmers. This administration draws a direct relation between the past lack of economic, political and social support for rural communities and the overexploitation and deforestation of Mexican land.

The program aims to revert the damage by encouraging “agrarian subjects to establish agroforestry production systems, which combines the production of traditional crops together with fruit and timber trees and the Milpa Intercalada con Árboles Frutales (planting trees together with corn and beans or MIAF) system”. This, it states, will contribute to generating jobs, food self-sufficiency, improving of the incomes of the inhabitants and recovery of forests covering 1 million ha in the country.

Participants have to meet the following requirements:

1. They must be agrarian subjects of legal age

2. They must live in rural localities

3. Their income must fall below the rural welfare line

4. They should own or hold 2.5 hectares of available land for agroforestry projects.

The government supports participants with supplies (plants, supplies and tools) and technical support to implement agroforestry systems. This is provided in the form of visits by program technicians. Lastly, participants receive financial support of US$200 a month, of which US$20 are directed to a savings account and welfare fund.

Currently, the program has a participation of 230,000 farmers, spread over the states Campeche, Chiapas, Durango, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz and Yucatan. The intention is to expand this year to Chihuahua, Colima, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Michoacan, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas and Sinaloa. The Sembrando Vida program draws comparisons with ProArbol, a program initiated under President Calderón in 2007 with the goal to recover forest land. While it may have shared the same intention to restore lost ecosystems, Sembrando Vida emphasizes the use of agroforestry systems to improve the lives of the inhabitants of rural areas.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
SADER, Expansion, DineroEnImagen
Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst