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AMLO Wants Mexicans to Produce More of Their Own Food

Mexico City – The corn has begun to sprout on the hillsides south of Mexico’s capital, though it’s unclear whether these shoots will have enough water to grow or whether the farmer will be able to afford the increasingly expensive fertilizer.

The government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants Mexicans to produce more of their own food in order to move toward self-sufficiency in key products and to control prices for basic foodstuffs.

The president’s idea, which involves giving rural families technical advice and cash payments to grow crops, isn’t new, but the ravages of the pandemic, climate change, and market turmoil created by the war in Ukraine have given it new urgency.

The government wants to head off food insecurity in a country where 44% of the population lives in poverty and where 27.5 million tons of corn are produced, but more than 40 million tons are consumed, according to government data.

Some farmers hope for additional state financial help and subsidized fertilizer. Others are suspicious of government plans. But all hope that this year’s harvest produces enough to feed their families and, with luck, a bit more to sell in their communities.

While G-7 countries look for global solutions and the United States and development banks prepare a multibillion-dollar plan to ease food insecurity, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has welcomed Mexico’s efforts toward self-sufficiency in essential foods but does not expect quick results.

“We do not see food prices going down, at least this year,” Lina Pohl, the organization’s representative in Mexico, said.

The government said it hopes that those participating in the program will increase their production of corn and beans by about two thirds.

Sources: ExcelsiorMexico Daily Post

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