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  • A Mexican farmer harvesting corn.

    A Mexican farmer harvesting corn. | Photo: Reuters

The small rural sector in Mexico has received less funds this year than any other year, according to rural leaders.

​Rural organizations demanded Wednesday the Mexican government better redistribute the 2016 budget in favor of a “family, indigenous and small-scaled” agricultural model, while multilateral negotiations to be part of the Trans-Pacific trade deal (TPP), which excludes such a model, continue.

The state agency PROCAMPO allocated almost 80 percent of its resources to the major agrarian companies of the country, which have hoarded the most fertile and largest land lots in the country's north and north-east, despite only representing 8 percent of the rural population, campesino leader Moises Reyes Fausto, from the Central Campesina Cardenista in the state of Veracruz, pointed out.

“Subsidies to major companies like MASECA, CARGILL and NESTLE need to go to the campesinos.”

According to a recent investigation by Fundar, small farmers represent 85 percent of the country’s production units, justifying a higher allocation of federal funds. However, most federal funds are almost exclusively allocated to producers that own between 20 to 80 hectares.

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Reyes Fausto informed that rural organizations will be mobilizing next Nov. 9-10 under the slogan “The Countryside Belongs to Everyone” (“El Campo es de Todos”), in order to pressure lawmakers who are voting on next year’s budget, and to recall President Enrique Peña Nieto's promise last year to reform agriculture.

The rural leader highlighted next year’s budget was less a matter of “quantity” than “quality,” “in order to overcome poverty and inequality in rural areas.”

“Political will from all actors is necessary to tackle inequality and poverty in Mexico.”

In the state of Morelos, rural leaders from at least 13 organizations informed that over a thousand campesinos will take over the Congress next Wednesday in order to voice their demands to the state lawmakers, who they claim are not really committed to supporting the sector, allocating an even lower budget than in other states.

The shadow of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Meanwhile, Mexico closed another cycle of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Oct. 7, along with the United States, Canada, Chile, Peru, Japan and Australia, among others. The potential future member states continued to refuse to reduce subsidies to agrarian major companies linked to international trade, in order to keep them “competitive” on the global market.

“China subsidizes a lot of agriculture; while it refuses to reduce subsidies, the United States won't, and nor will the European Union,” said the Mexican Ambassador to the World Trade Organization Fernando de Mateo.

RELATED: TPP: Trading People for Profit?

On Monday, along the U.S. border, farmers blocked the importation lane of the international viaduct Cordoba-Americas for 10 hours. The lane links El Paso in Texas to Ciudad Juarez in Mexico. Medium producers of beans, corn, cotton, apples, or pepper, among others, criticized the current policy of subsidies that has “only filled their storehouses,” improving their productivity, yet “not their pockets,” leaving them in the same situation of poverty as before. They complained the costs of diesel or fertilizers were higher in the country, while commodity prices kept diminishing on the global market.

RELATED: The TPP: Priority #1 of US Multinational Corporations

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, they argued, would only lead the Mexican agrarian sector closer to a total collapse.


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