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Monday, January 13, 2014

Mexican President Announces Major Rural Area Reforms in 2014

Presidency of the Republic

Noting that at the start of his administration he pledged to raise the Mexican countryside to a new level of development and modernity, President Enrique Peña Nieto confirmed that in 2014 he will promote a major reform of the countryside to modernize it and make it competitive.

To this end, he said, the government has launched the new National Agrifood Policy, designed with the participation of the main peasant and farmers' organizations. "The goal is very clear: to increase food production on the basis of higher productivity. In other words, to harvest more in every hectare, and breed more cattle on every ranch or farmland," he said.

This will make it possible to increase the income of those living in the countryside and provide food at better prices for all consumers. "This policy supports small farmers, encouraging their partnership and providing support according to their size and the results they achieve," he said.

He recalled that in 2013 significant structural changes were achieved, as a result of which "it is essential, in a synchronized fashion and in a climate of great coordination between all levels of government, to implement the benefits provided by these reforms, which must gradually and increasingly be felt by all Mexicans."

He declared that 2014 "Should be a year that will allow us to move forward, slowly but surely, without stopping, to implement everything that has been achieved."

He noted that, "This should also be a year that will allow us to close the gap, especially with regards to the changes that have yet to be carried out, the implementation of secondary legislation for the major constitutional changes that took place in 2013, and also, new issues that must be promoted this year, especially the Mexican countryside."

He noted that, "The Mexican countryside must undoubtedly be one of our greatest strengths, and must also be a decent place for those who live off and depend on this activity."

Therefore, he continued, the government has proposed not only to administer but too to operate with inertia. "Since the beginning of this administration, we have pledged to drive fundamental changes, radical changes that will make it possible to speed up the development and progress of our nation."

He announced that in 2014, SAGARPA will spend the highest budget in its history: 82.9 billion pesos; in other words, it will have nearly 7.5 billion pesos more than in 2013.

As part of the 99th anniversary of the passage of the Agrarian Law of January 6, 1915, he also announced that in 2014 the government as a whole will allocate over 338.6 billion pesos for agriculture.

He explained that this is 32.7 billion pesos more than the amount available at the beginning of this administration, and stated that spending these funds will facilitate the use of improved seeds that promote food safety and provide access to international markets, while increasing mechanized irrigation throughout the country.

This year, he declared, SAGARPA has transformed its programs to provide more timely and efficient support for those in the countryside. Its 25 programs have therefore been concentrated in seven innovative programs that promote productivity in the Mexican countryside.

He confirmed that, "If we want a modern, successful Mexico, it is essential to have an equally modern, successful countryside." It is time to till the land and sow seeds so that tomorrow we can reap the fruits."

He told the agricultural producers gathered in the Boca del Rio Convention Center, in Veracruz, that "they have a permanent ally in the president." The government is a permanent ally of those in the Mexican countryside, and a permanent ally for those seeking progress and development for the entire nation."

In keeping with the ideal of social justice on the basis of which Venustiano Carranza passed the first Agrarian Act on January 6 1915, the president explained that the government is implementing policies, programs and actions to turn the countryside into a true land of prosperity.

He declared that, "We have good reasons to trust and believe in the potential of our countryside," such as the fact that one out of every 10 hectares of the country is devoted to agribusiness activities, in which approximately seven million Mexicans are engaged.

He also mentioned that as a result of their daily efforts, Mexico is among the world's 15 largest food producers, according to FAO figures. The country also ranks 13th in agricultural exports, which reach a market of over one billion consumers in 45 different countries.

He cited the example of Veracruz, where the lemons produced in Martínez de la Torre are exported to Japan; the pineapples harvested in Juan Rodríguez Clara is sold in the United States; and coffee from Coatepec is enjoyed in Europe.


Presidency of the Republic, Jan. 6, 2014, Mexico, DF; Presidency of the Republic translation (edited)

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