"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

Mexico Can and Must Be Self-Sufficient in Food Again

Mexico can readily produce enough grain to feed 150 million people, according to Antonio Turrent, former Director of the National Institute of Forestry and Agricultural Research. Mexico's population of about 110 million has become dangerously dependent on food imports to meet over one third of its basic food consumption needs. Under conditions of imposed import dependency, and skyrocketing grain prices, a shock front has hit Mexico and the issue of food has exploded as a major subject of national debate.

As in Argentina, the discussion centers on the need for government dirigist measures in order to feed people before allowing the cartels to export, and on the ability to sharply increase domestic food production. In Argentina, the Kirchner goverment is actually taking such steps; in Mexico, various institutions are making these demans of the free-trade-dominated Calderon government.

Mexican grain production can be quickly increased, according to Turrent's remarks published in the May 13 La Jornada, by:

  • Irrigating some 2 million hectares of arable land in Sonora, Sinaloa, and five other states. This coincides with the PLHINO projection of irrigating some 800,000 hectares in Sonora and Sinaloa alone.

  • Planting corn on 9 million hectares of fertile land in the southeast of the country, currently used as pasture land.

  • Returning to corn production in six other states where it has been largely abandoned, due to globalization and free trade decimation of Mexico's agriculture.