Mexican gastronomy is considered intangible cultural heritage of humanity: tacos, pozole and hundreds of typical dishes.
But to prepare many of them, far from being able to obtain the products of national agricultural crops, Mexicans are forced to import them, experts warn. And to a large extent this situation is the product of the negative effects of climate change on the sector.
In the words of researcher Uberto Salgado Nieto, “around the 50% of the food consumed in Mexico is imported and this problem has worsened considerably in the country in recent decades. “
“For example, in corn it is around 36%, in wheat it is 63%, in soy it is 94%”, says the specialist.
Import on the rise
This national food security problem has become enormous, because according to information from the Agricultural Markets Consultant Group, the volume of grain import went up a 11,2% and in value a 65,1% accumulated from January to August of this year compared to 2020.
In other words, a record figure, a situation that the federal government has called “structural crisis “ and has recognized dependency in terms of food nutrition. Despite this, the president himself, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has made emphasis in the need to import corn.
This measure aims to lower the price of the tortilla, which today is sold in several states at more than a dollar per kilo, that is, highest cost in 9 years, due, among other things, to the droughts that have hit the national fields, a circumstance that has been noticed in the pockets of consumers.
A scourge for farmers
But those who suffer the most from the fact that the grains are imported are the farmers. One of them is Andrés Galicia Hernández, who assures that the authorities are not providing aid to rescue the countryside.
“[Creo] that the Government should focus on supporting the removal of that blindfold, that it injects resources here for the area and we even have local products to support this great city. Here is food, it is not necessary to bring it from abroad“said the peasant producer.
It was due to the lack of economic support that many farmlands were modified and stopped being used to plant grains, in such a way that in many of them poppies began to be produced – whose ingredients are used to produce narcotic substances -, thus benefiting the organized crime.
Receive help or emigrate
In addition to this and due to the lack of resources for the countryside, many peasants decided to abandon their lands and emigrate to the United States in search of the ‘American dream’.
“The PSCenter calculates that 5 million undocumented Mexicans lie in [EE.UU.] and according to calculations from the northern border migration survey, it tells us that approximately the 62% of people crossing into the United States were engaged in agricultural activities“, details Salgado Nieto.
That is why today the request of farmers and peasants who resist leaving their lands is that the authorities pay attention to them and give more resources to their plots, and that it be the national planting that nourishes Mexicans without the need to bring ingredients from foreign fields.
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