I've been holding on to this item, sent to me by Mexico Bob this last summer. These last few years we've sen more and more Chinese and American beans in Mexico, which you'd think would be a little like bringing coals to Newcastle but Mexico has experienced some nasty droughts and bean consumption on the whole is down. Cheap imports are going to nudge some bean farmers right out of business.
The Bean Congress mentioned is the very one I was at this summer in Zacatecas. At the time, I made the observation that like the US, bean producers are concentrating on making beans cheaper and easier to grow and harvest and zipidy do da is being spent on flavor.
MEXICO CITY, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Mexican government plans to invest 500 million pesos (383,550 U.S. dollars) annually in training bean farmers to reduce the nation's imports, Agriculture Minister Alberto Cardenas said on Wednesday.
"Via the (government-backed) Produce Foundation, we are investing around 500 million pesos a year to broadcast the knowledge that the National Food and Produce Research Agency is discovering," Cardenas said at the opening of the International Bean Congress and Fair held in the central Mexican state of Zacateacas.
Mexico produced 1.12 million tons of beans last year. Meanwhile, imports have risen to 94,000 tons. Despite the large acreage of farmlands devoted to beans, Mexico is still far behind Brazil, the world's largest bean producer, as well as India, China and Myanmar, Cardenas observed.
The government has also laid out a 12-point plan to help farmers, Cardenas added.
The plan includes improving seed technology, machinery investment assistance, modernizing logistics and storage centers, and promoting consumption.
As an aside, if you have even a casual interest in things Mexican, Bob's blog is a must-read. Always thoughtful and provocative, I always feel humbled when I read his posts.
Mexico Bob blog link.