Mexico is trying to boost domestic food production to cut exposure to the global food price swings that caused inflation to soar this year.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that he will present a plan in a week that will make the prices of Mexican staples less exposed to foreign markets.
Food prices are spiking across Latin America, causing hunger for the poorest families, triggering mass unrest in Peru, and complicating the task of central banks. Worse is expected after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a surge in the prices of wheat, corn, and fertilizers.
Avocados, chicken, corn tortillas, as well as meals at roadside joints and fast-food lunch spots, have all contributed to accelerating inflation in Mexico in recent weeks.
AMLO has long been a proponent of self-sufficiency in the country’s energy sector and said he will now apply a similar strategy to food. Annual inflation jumped to a 20-year high of more than 7% last month.
“It’s fundamental to plant corn, to plant beans, to plant rice, and to not be dependent,” he said at a press briefing on Monday. “My worry, and my job, is to control inflation because it does a lot of harm.”
By giving government assistance to farmers and agreeing on a plan with private businesses, AMLO, as the president is known, says that prices for consumers can be kept down. The president said he doesn’t want to sever Mexico’s connection to global suppliers or impose tariffs.
The central bank has increased interest rates at its last seven meetings, as it tries to prevent temporary food and fuel price rises from causing a wage-price spiral.
Source: El Financiero