Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Crisis pending in Guerrero as up to 16,000 farmers still without fertilizer

Delays in the delivery of free fertilizer to campesinos in Guerrero could cause famine in the near future, a human rights activist warns.

Thousands of farmers in the Montaña region of Guerrero have still not received the free fertilizer that is delivered annually by the government. The federal government assumed responsibility for the program this year.

Federal officials promised in June that all of the fertilizer would be delivered by July 15. 

According to Abel Barrera Hernández, director of the Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center in Tlapa, Guerrero, the long-awaited fertilizer is used for subsistence corn farming.

The Guerrero Agriculture Secretariat said there are as many as 16,000 campesinos who have not received fertilizer in the Montaña region, one of the poorest in the country.

Protests against the delays began in late May, and continued last week.

On Thursday and Friday, farmers in Tototepec took over the municipal palace in Tlapa, claiming that they could not exchange fertilizer vouchers given to them by the federal food security agency (Segalmex) because government warehouses were closed.

After speaking with the protesters Tlapa Mayor Dionisio Pichardo García spoke to Jorge Gage, the federal coordinator of the fertilizer program, who agreed to send trucks to Guerrero from Querétaro and Michoacán.

Meanwhile, farmers in the Montaña municipality of Acatapec have been blocking the Chilapa-Tlapa highway for more than a month near Tlatlauquitepec, demanding the delivery of 5,000 bags of fertilizer promised by Gage.

“Mr. Gage never came to the Montaña to resolve this problem,” said rights activist Barrera. “He wants to fix everything from Mexico City, and he only meets people there.”

Barrera added that in 2019, many campesinos in the Montaña region decided to plant corn instead of opium poppies because of a decline in the price of opium from 25,000 pesos (US $1,255) per kilogram to 4,000 pesos.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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