Home Feature Tensions escalate over corn conflict in Sinaloa

Tensions escalate over corn conflict in Sinaloa

by Sofia Navarro
0 comment

The conflict over the price of corn in Mexico has become deeply entrenched. On Wednesday, Junethe governor of Sinaloa, Rubén Rocha, called on farmers to protest at the headquarters of major companies in the sector, such as Gruma, Minsa, and Cargill, in order to shift the focus of the ongoing protests that have closed Culiacán Airport, the capital of the state, for over 48 hours. Sinaloa has become the epicenter of the clash between producers, private companies, and the government, but the struggle over cereal prices also affects other states in the northwest, such as Sonora, Chihuahua, and Jalisco. Rocha has urged President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to take measures to deescalate the confrontation. The president stated in his morning press conference on Thursday that they would not change their strategy: “Let them stay at the airport, but we will not be blackmailed by corrupt individuals.”

López Obrador has also rejected the proposal from the governor of Sinaloa to go against the large companies. Rocha wrote on his Twitter account on Wednesday: “I invite you to join me in protesting against the real culprits of the devaluation of your crops: Gruma, Cargill, and Minsa. I am your ally and side by side with you, I will demand fair treatment and pricing for your work.” The governor’s words against private companies are the latest escalation in a conflict that intensifies every week. The root of the clash lies in the low price of corn, partly due to an oversupply compared to demand, which has caused the price to drop from nearly 7,000 pesos (about 400 dollars) per ton that it was last year to just over 5,000 pesos. This decline is suffocating farmers who are desperate to sell their accumulated corn.

Farmers have been trying to reach a solution with the federal government for months. In April, Segalmex (Mexican Food Security) announced the purchase of one million tons of corn at a price of 6,965 pesos per ton, but only from small producers with up to 10 hectares. Additionally, the state government announced the purchase of 500,000 tons of corn from farmers with 11 to 50 hectares to remove them from the market in order to improve prices. Furthermore, Segalmex will acquire an additional 300,000 tons for distribution in Diconsa stores. “In total, 1.8 billion tons will be withdrawn to motivate large buyers to pay a good price for the remaining 3.5 million tons that still need to be sold from the autumn-winter harvest,” stated Governor Rubén Rocha’s administration.

However, the second part of the state plan was frustrated. The government failed to reach an agreement with Minsa, Gruma, and Cargill for all the excess tons. The companies argue that buying at a higher price than the market rate would force them to increase the final price of other products such as tortillas. This refusal has led the governor of Sinaloa to accuse the industries of “sabotage.” But as negotiations stall, the pressure on farmers intensifies.

Furthermore, farmers no longer have access to the so-called Financiera Rural, the lender that provided flexible loans to producers for 20 years. The López Obrador government ordered it to cease operations in December, and it officially disappeared in May. The departure of the Secretary of the Interior, Adán Augusto López, who is leaving his position on Friday to launch his candidacy for the 2024 elections as a candidate for Morena, has further exacerbated the situation.

On Tuesday, farmers took over Culiacán Airport, resulting in the cancellation of 57 operations and affecting nearly 7,500 passengers. Faced with the pressure, Rocha has urged the farmers to release the airport and focus on private companies. However, the protesters have refused, stating that the goal is to pressure the federal government.

However, López Obrador rejected the strategy this morning: “We will not give in, even if they have the airport. Also, for their peace of mind, we will not use the police force. I deeply regret it because it affects those who use the airport and need to travel, but our government does not allow blackmail, especially from people accustomed to corruption.” Additionally, the president made harsh statements against the farmers: “Who are the dissatisfied ones? Those who used to benefit from subsidies. There are some very arrogant ones who own thousands of hectares, even rent plots, they are high-flying businessmen. They are associations of producers who do not represent indigenous people, small farmers, ejidatarios; they are the big producers. They are insatiable, they have become accustomed to getting everything.”

TYT Newsroom

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Our Company

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consect etur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis.


Laest News

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin