This Week Corn takes the StageBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 05/20/2021 - 11:11
Mexico’s Ambassador to the US Esteban Moctezuma Barragán sent a letter to the US Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh to communicate concerns regarding the lack of labor enforcement laws in the agricultural, protein processing and packaging industries. Mexico took this action to express its concerns regarding the rights of migrant workers in the US agribusiness sector.
Both countries have recently appealed to legal channels to enforce the USMCA. Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the situation is two-sided. “It is reciprocal. Just as they can file complaints about the situation their workers face in our country, we can also file complaints if there is a violation of our workers’ rights in the US.” The letter was sent a few days after US Trade Representative Katherine Tai asked the Mexican government to review a complaint filed by General Motors workers. As a result of the latter case, the US filed a complaint under the “Rapid Response Mechanism” against the General Motors plant in Silao, Guanajuato, for alleged violations of workers’ rights.
Interested in more? Here are the week’s major headlines in Agribusiness!
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Provivi, a pest control company, strive to promote an agroecological technology technique that aims to eradicate the fall armyworm in corn. The Ministry of Agriculture indicates that this agroecological technology allows the eradication of the fall armyworm by dispersing doses of pheromones to cause sexual confusion in the insect. The correct implementation of this technology reduces the use insecticides and agrochemicals by up to 40 percent and generates savings in production costs. This is relevant given how losses in agriculture due to pests and diseases amount to more than US$220 billion annually worldwide.
- Mexico’s white and yellow corn production is expected to reach 28 million tons this year due to a 2.6 percent growth. Yellow corn production, however, decreased during 2020 as Chihuahua registered 1.15 million tons, Jalisco 851,479 tons and Tamaulipas 345,444 tons. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mexico imports approximately 69 percent of its yellow corn for livestock consumption. The government aims to replace 16 million tons of US yellow corn imports as well as a majority of genetically modified products (GMO) with national products by 2024.
- In the first four months of the year, national honey exports reached 6,460 tons with a commercial value of US$21.56 million. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that a 22.4 percent increase in honey production is expected this year, with an estimated volume of 66,270 tons. Honey is one Mexico’s growing agri-food products since the country is now in eighth place in production globally.
- Mexico is among the five nations with the best sanitary and pest control systems, said Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Víctor Villalobos Arámbula. The next step is the promotion and export of agri-food products to Germany. Villalobos Arámbula and Mexico’s Ambassador to Germany Francisco Quiroga Fernández agreed to strengthen the promotion, certification and export of Mexican agri-food products to Germany through a strategy that includes sanitary, logistical and commercial aspects.