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The corn is as high…

12 February 2008

Nancy Davis translated the highlights of a startling report by Matilde Peréz U. that appeared in this morning’s Jornada. I’d expected almost immediate fallout from the end of farm subsidies in Mexico, but nothing this dramatic.

In spite of the fact that in the country there is sufficient corn for human consumption, grain imports of corn from the United States in January went up 384% in comparison with the past year

The elimination of customs charges [on imported grain] is harmful for the campesinos, since the objective of the great businesses is to maintain a depressed internal price, contrary to the international markets’ tendency…

The only way to avoid the price speculation by the great businesses is for the government to establish a mechanism for administrating imports and exports of white corn and order the creation of a national coen reserve for national consumption..

Kathy Kohlstedt, a program associate at the Americas Policy Program in Mexico City, has written on the broader political and policy implications of the NAFTA deregulations:

As part of a broadened alliance of civil society groups demanding the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexicans from all parts of the country occupied Mexico City’s Zocalo and surroundings on January 31. In a display of unity, in solidarity with their country’s agricultural producers, and the spirit that “without corn, there is no Mexico,” Mexican farmers and others seem to be coming together. Mexico’s movements appear to be united in a sort of “buy Mexican” campaign. This is not necessarily so.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 16 February 2008 12:07 pm

    This, for me, is one of the most disturbing affects of NAFTA. It affects the majority of the population, I would say, and will be the thorn in the side of the government that does not fix the problem.

    I recently read the book “The Omnivore’s Dilema”, which, with the large section about US Subsidized Corporate Corn Growing, oened my eyes to the disfunctionality of a large part of US Agronomy.

    All should read this book, but don’t get the idea it is all negative stuff. There is a great section also on smaller scale, more wholesome agriculture, and also on wild food foraging.


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