Juan Cortina Gallardo, president of the National Council of Agriculture (CNA), said on Tuesday that the Mexican agri-food sector is preparing a public policy proposal to combat the “crisis” in rural areas.
In the presentation of the book “Our Field: The CNA and the Agrifood Evolution of Mexico”, taking stock of the Mexican countryside over the past 30 years, Cortina Gallardo stresses that the sector faces challenges such as high prices of primary inputs, grains, and efficient use of water.
The president of the council, which brings together more than 2 million producers in the country, also added friction created by stagnation in the United States, labor shortages and the recent Texas government, which have affected the transfer of goods . border, which he briefly described as “an election issue”.
“We have to understand that both in Mexico and in the United States we are entering election time and this is going to be unfortunately for Mexico-US relations. I went through sensitive moments,” he said.
Although he pointed out that a new public policy that would improve conditions in the Mexican primary sector is still being worked out, he defined some solutions.
He called for setting up of contract farming model in order to stabilize the prices of food grains and ensure that the producers do not lose out on selling their produce at a less favorable exchange rate.
“Having contract farming, the producer can negotiate prices with anyone who buys his produce,” he added.
The leader of the region, which contributes 10% to the Mexican gross domestic product (GDP), agreed that temporary visas for migrants could be implemented to address the problem of labor shortage in the region.
At the same time, he considered it necessary to continue improving the wage level in the country and in the agri-food sector.
He noted that three North American countries have already identified this labor problem, as 90% of farm workers in Canada are temporary, while the proportion in the US is 70%, and Mexico is “already experiencing something similar”.
Cortina Gallardo also pointed out the importance of maintaining food security in North America, as she calculated that it would be difficult to stop depending on the importation of certain inputs such as grain from the United States.
The CNA president said it is necessary to modernize the sector with more technology and science as well as better techniques for the care and efficient use of water and land.
In this sense, he questions the recent restrictions on glyphosate and the use of genetically modified grains, as it ties the hands of producers.
Mexico is the world’s eleventh largest food producer and seventh largest exporter.