Mexico’s agrifood trade balance achieves 431 md surplus
Agrifood sector grows 1.4% in the first quarter of 2009: Sagarpa.The agrifood sector is one of the growing sectors despite the flu pandemic, said the Minister of Agriculture Alberto Cárdenas. The Minister of Agriculture, Alberto Cárdenas Jiménez, informed that in the January-April 2009 period the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the agrifood sector grew 1.4%.In a press conference the executive said that the agrifood sector is one of the few sectors of the Economy that grew in spite of the flu pandemic, the electoral campaign and the world economic crisis. He emphasized that this growth happened because of the efficient use of the budget, the planning with the states and because in the agricultural subsector production grew 5.2% in the same period and the harvested area increased 81 hectares.On the other hand the meat production increased 2.8%, egg and honey bee 1.4%, milk 0.8% and the fishing and aquaculture sector 2%.Other factors that impacted this growth in the GDP were the priority for value added projects, high investment in food safety, timely marketing, efficient financing, boost of exports and promotional campaigns to increase domestic consumption.He mentioned that in this period the agrifood trade balance achieved a surplus of 431 million dollars, while in the same period in 2008 the balance was negative by 576 million dollars.The agrifood trade balance deficit with the United States decreased from 1.369 billion dollars to 17 million dollars in the same period.He indicated that the second quarter of 2009 will be very active too, because good crops are anticipated. With prices up to1000 pesos lower compared to 2008, the flour and bakery industries will buy cheaper raw materials.Regarding the sugar cane harvest, he said close to 600 thousand hectares are almost done and in the second semester 12.5 million hectares will be harvested. This will generate a significant boost in the rural economy because of the purchasing of fertilizers, seeds, agricultural tools, greenhouses, machinery and equipment.Also the Procampo and Progan payments are being implemented and diesel supplies to tractors are being processed at the moment.