Price Guarantee; forbidden concept | Article

Alberto Vizcarra Ozuna

lThe country’s corn and wheat producers are beginning to show more than concern, with some warning of mobilization as prices for both major grains plummet. The impact is greater as the costs required for the crop that is about to be harvested have increased exponentially. Simply put, the fall in prices from last year for wheat would be close to 30 percent, while an increase in input costs of more than 300 percent was recorded. A crushing blow to the regions of the country that produce wheat and corn.

This is the same elephant that has perched on the table of the annual meetings of agricultural organizations and commodity producers from across the country, feeling the all-consuming flurry of international markets, while the federal government shows no obvious signs of budgetary protection of domestic production. main grains. Support is reduced to the regions of their own consumption. Irrigated areas, where the highest levels of production and productivity are recorded, are left to the mercy of fate dictated by international markets. Arbitrary discretion and contrary to national interests.

This Saturday, March 11, federal and state officials attended a meeting to mark the closing of the annual report of users of the Rio Yaqui irrigation region in southern Sonora. A possible meeting was agreed not with the Minister of Agriculture but with the Minister of the Interior to see “what they can do to help” to alleviate the situation. However, Sonora Agriculture Minister Fatima Rodriguez was to announce that the situation is very serious as the world’s stocks of wheat and corn are full, and added that these cereals are cheaper to produce. outside the country., meaning that the national market will not be protected. I expect the government will not take responsibility. A peculiar message: we cannot go against the laws of the market.

The idea that supply and demand determine prices is an old ploy, an old sophistry of (neoliberal) free trade designed to cover up the consortiums and private corporations that control the futures markets and project speculative profits on price falls and rises. goods in which they use financial enterprises completely unrelated to production. It is against these forces that the Mexican state is obligated to protect national food production and producers.

The reality is that there has not been a significant increase in world wheat production. The FAO claims that food shortages are increasing the threat of global hunger as 345 million people are in a food crisis. World wheat production this year compared to the previous year increased very slightly, by 0.25 percent.

According to economist José Luis Calva, director of economic research at UNAM and an agricultural expert, the jewel in the crown of any process to protect the national production of basic grains is guaranteed prices. And they have to be versatile to really have the desired effects. They should include all producers of the main grains, and not just areas of own consumption. This implies a rethinking of the country’s food policy so that all the production capabilities of Mexico’s mass production areas are directed to the national market and the reorientation of food self-sufficiency.

If the López Obrador government’s anti-neoliberal rhetoric has taken on an empty tone on any front, it is on rural policy. They have refused to restore the national market, the agricultural regions that the imposition of free trade agreements hold captive and control their speculative dynamics. The government has made its own consumption synonymous with self-sufficiency, it has supported itself without the goals of physical production to reduce food addiction and with speech that insults producers in the so-called “commercial agriculture”, whom the president judges by the hats they wear, the belts they wear. wear and the vehicles they drive, not the tons of wheat and corn they produce.

He attacks national producers as if they had decided to go into commercial agriculture when neoliberal governments succumbed to the global dictates of the markets and imposed this condition on the producers. Tricks that are otherwise dangerous in times of global food crisis.

Producers’ dissatisfaction begins to move beyond the “petitionist” condition of achieving some opportunistic support and begins to take place in the program field, declaring, as Sinaloa producers do, “that public policy should be for all Mexicans, and this was in the days when there was a guaranteed price to reflect on the fact that the harvest is a matter of food security.”

It’s time to break with the vexing economic inertia of the past four decades. The world is showing clear signs that this policy is intolerable. Financial and commercial instability, banking thunder and constant wars. It should be noted that Mexican manufacturers have chosen to propose the concept of “price guarantees” – a term that frightens and conjures up the noxious specters of neo-liberalism.

Source: Aristegui Noticias