"Nichts mehr davon, ich bitt euch. Zu essen gebt ihm, zu wohnen.
Habt ihr die Blöße bedeckt, gibt sich die Würde von selbst."
Friedrich Schiller
  May 2008 FOOD

Mexican Peasant Confederation Demands Government Buy Food Crops Directly from Farmers

The head of Mexico's largest peasant association, Cruz Lopez Aguilar of the National Peasant Confederation (CNC), has demanded that the government must immediately step in to buy food crops directly from the producers. He denounced Cargill for hoarding some 2 million tons of corn to speculate with the price, while overall grain prices have already risen 40% so far in 2008.

Lopez had earlier warned about a "price tsunami" for food in Mexico. In his latest remarks, reported in the May 12 El Financiero, he warned that "the worst is yet to come; soon we are going to face an extremely grave problem."

The same food shock front led National Autonomous University (UNAM) economics professor Carlos Javier Cabrera Adame to demand that emergency measures be taken to limit Mexican exports of food, until domestic needs are first met. Cabrera reports that 47% of all Mexicans (some 50 million) live under the poverty line, while 18% endure extreme poverty, or indigence. In the rural sector, 24% are extremely poor.

Mexico has gone from being largely food self-sufficient, to importing 35% of its food needs today. 9 million tons of food were imported in 1995, he noted, while 19 million are imported today. Over that same time period, private investment in agriculture fell by 50%, while public investment fell by 95%.