Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Drought hits bean crops; Mexico to import 100,000 tonnes

Although President Lopez Obrador has urged Mexicans to eschew expensive and processed foods and eat more beans, the country is facing a bean shortage due to drought and is being forced to import some 100,000 tonnes in order to meet the short-term demand.

The problem has been ongoing, the Ministry of the Economy reports. 

In 2019 bean production decreased by 31% and as a result, prices have increased by nearly 30% in the last year, according to the National Consumer Price Index.

Bean imports, which will start this year on July 1 and end October 15, were also necessary in 2016 and 2017. In 2018 the crops had recovered enough that beans were only imported for a six-week period.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development warned in December that the 2019 drought was the worst since 2011 and that the production of basic grains, sugar, corn, coffee and livestock would be affected. Key bean-growing states Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato and Zacatecas saw their driest month on record in July of last year.

Imports of rice, which are already at 85% of the nation’s supply, may also be increased as a result.

Last year the government spent 8.1 billion pesos (US $356 million) on subsidies for small farms, including financial assistance for 300,000 bean producers, and this year that budget has increased to 10 billion pesos (US $439 million).

Source: Reforma (sp)

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