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Presentation on theme: "CORN PRODUCING SECTOR IN MEXICO Alejandro Nadal PART 2."— Presentation transcript:


2 Declining support for agriculture Withdrawal of support policies: public expenditures for agriculture drop to all-time historical low Green Box subsidies could increase 200% today and remain within AMS authorized levels of URAA-WTO

3 In spite of all of this, Corn production increased and cultivated surface expanded. “What happened?” asked World Bank and Mexico’s official experts?




7 Explaining the dynamics of corn production in Mexico after NAFTA Producers prices did go down as a result of NAFTA But corn output started to increase Why? General equilibrium versus partial equilibrium: Need to consider the movement of the entire constellation of agricultural prices “El regreso al campo”: the return to the countryside by impoverished peasants that had previously migrated to urban centres

8 Tortilla prices increased by 50% in real terms Explaining Corn Output in Mexico (1994-2003)

9 All agricultural prices fall. Open-pollinated corn varieties offer a safer option for poor producers.

10 Discussion Insecurity and adverse economic environment for small scale producers – Adverse conditions: 293% inflation between 1994- 2003 Why did output increase? Not “in spite of” but precisely because of these adverse conditions corn producers have expanded their operations (hence, “the return to the fields”) – All agricultural prices were falling: the relative price of corn was stable or in fact increasing! – Corn is familiar technology – Staple food

11 Impacts on Production and Survival Strategies of Corn Producing Households Crop substitution Changes in land use patterns Reallocation of labor resources Off-farm income-generating activities Temporary or permanent migration Migration and semi-proletarization degrade local institutions for resource management, as well as technological capabilities at the household level. Impact on seed selection and recycling, and on the development of maize genetic resources.

12 Economic Forces and Maize Producers in Mexico A.Rural exodus and semi-proletarization in response to pervasive poverty and economic pressure degrade local institutions and technical capabilities at the household level. B. Labor-intensive processes (i.e., milpa multicropping and inter- planting systems) tend to be replaced by monoculture and higher herbicide usage rates. Crop biodiversity affected. C.This impairs capacity to select and recycle seeds and degrades in situ conservation of maize genetic resources. D.This may lead to a severe event of genetic erosion through poverty, migration and semi-proletarization. E.Germplasm banks may not be a viable solution over the long haul. Passports of accessions not enough for comprehensive understanding of role of maize biodiversity (Taba, Ortega).

13 Cultivated Surface in Corn, 1990

14 Cultivated Surface in Corn, 2001

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