Mexico is working to consolidate a new hydro-agricultural policy

The sustainable use of water in the countryside and the growth of small and medium-sized producers are being promoted to generate better conditions in rural areas.

Mexico is working to consolidate a new hydro-agricultural policy
Photo by Jan Kopřiva / Unsplash

By 2020-2021, 2 million 348 thousand 336 hectares are scheduled to be cultivated in the country's irrigation districts, with a volume of 26 thousand 765.9 million cubic meters (Mm3) of water. Of this, almost 1.9 million hectares have been planted so far -81% of the programmed amount-, with 47% of the volume of water for irrigation. The rest of the water allocated for the current agricultural cycle will be used during the height of the dry season, in close coordination with producers.

In addition to the support provided to traditional food-producing entities, in 2021 subsidies will be provided to producers in communities with a very high degree of marginalization, located within priority attention zones, indigenous communities, or Afro-Mexican population, to advance in the fulfillment of one of the objectives of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to distribute public resources equitably and fairly.

A fundamental issue is the reorganization and updating of irrigation districts since many population centers have been formed around them, invading them and affecting the operation of the infrastructure. Another challenge is to organize and allocate support to irrigation units, but in a differentiated manner, to give priority to those with the greatest backwardness or less development. Work is being done to consolidate a new policy that reverses fundamental aspects of water and agrarian matters, such as the concentration of water rights in the hands of a few and the environmental impact.

As part of Mexico's new agri-food policy, in 2021 the budget of the Production for Wellbeing program was increased from 11 billion pesos in 2020 to 13.5 billion in 2021, to benefit small and medium-scale producers. Likewise, support for grain and coffee producers was increased, and cocoa and honey producers were incorporated. As a result, he said, the number of beneficiaries increased from just over 2.2 million to 2.3 million.

A fundamental issue is the reorganization and updating of irrigation districts since populations have formed around them, invading them and affecting their operation.

This is part of the path towards the Fourth Transformation, in which a new policy is being implemented to promote a new economic-social-political-cultural regime, to recover the role of the State is leading the country's development and separating economic power from political power. In this context, all productive and social sectors are addressed, with emphasis on the most historically disadvantaged, through a policy aimed at food sovereignty and self-sufficiency in food, inputs, and technology.

Likewise, work is being done on agroecological systems of food production without transgenics or glyphosates; better family, community, and national food health; a policy with a focus on human rights and respect and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples, as well as compliance with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and Mexico's commitments, derived from the Paris Agreements on Climate Change.

In this context, small and medium-sized units, which today generate 54% of agricultural production and 85% of employment in rural areas, are encouraged to grow to such an extent that they cover a greater proportion of the domestic market and participate in the international market. Institutions will redouble their coordination efforts to provide more support to agricultural producers and consolidate a hydro-agricultural policy that will enable the development of regions that have traditionally been neglected.