Before the explosion of the coronavirus in Mexico, the National Agricultural Council (CNA) expected the agri-food sector to grow by 4.5% in 2020. Due to the pandemic, the president of the CNA, Bosco de la Vega, stated that they now expected the sector would only grow by 2%.
There isn't a farmer in this country that isn't being affected, as this essential industry has been hit by the closure of large consumers of food, such as hotels and restaurants, he added. De la Vega said that they expected this drop in demand would be solved by July or August with the progressive reopening of business.
The Mexican countryside is also facing other problems, mainly insecurity, which according to De la Vega costs about 3,100 lives a year as a result of assaults, robberies, and extortion. "Crime continues to grow in the agri-food sector and it makes us very vulnerable because we are in rural areas and in remote geographical areas," he stated.
The sector also faces a crossroads due to Mexico's import ban on glyphosate, a herbicide that is probably carcinogenic according to the World Health Organization and which has no substitute in the country.
The ANC started a campaign to donate food to the poorest people in this pandemic. The campaign, which is being carried out with the collaboration of the National Chamber of Cargo Transportation (Canacar) and the Mexican Army, has already reached 3.6 million citizens.
The Food for Mexico campaign initially aims to benefit 20 million people and, if the health contingency extends beyond the expected deadlines, the plan is to benefit more people.
"As one of the country's key sectors during this crisis we want to contribute and support the families that need it the most," De la Vega stated.