Saturday, January 28, 2017
New NAFTA could be good for agriculture in Mexico.
Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could be an opportunity to extricate Mexican agriculture from rules that have harmed farming in Mexico. Sergio Barrales Domínguez, president of the Autonomous University of Chapingo (UACh) in Puebla, said threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to reopen NAFTA represent an opportunity to “make do without North American food” and fuel the domestic market and national food production. The university president referred to 56 programs the school has already created, which include rainwater collection systems for farming and human consumption, and its biofertilizer and gasoline saving programs. Pedro Ponce Javana, deputy director of the institution, backed the president’s stance and issued the admonishment that the government vision that agriculture is “only a business” should shift to one in which it is considered a strategic sector for the country instead. The statement pointed out that Mexico imports 30% of the beans it consumes, 50% of the wheat, 80% of the rice and over 17 million tonnes of yellow corn, as well as other vegetables, fruits, oilseeds and processed foods. continue