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Agricultural and Fisheries Policies in Mexico

Recent Achievements, Continuing the Reform Agenda

image of Agricultural and Fisheries Policies in Mexico

This report analyses the effects of Mexico’s ambitious reforms to agricultural and fisheries policies since 1990 and makes recommendations for further reforms. The evaluation is based on criteria for good agricultural and fisheries policy as agreed to by OECD countries. Such criteria, if implemented, would support economically healthy sectors that contribute to the wider economy, respect natural resources and use inputs effectively without resorting to distorting subsidies.

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Agricultural policy and rural poverty

There are several reasons to expect that agricultural policies have an impact on rural poverty in Mexico, and this view is widely held. First, the high incidence of poverty in rural areas and the fact that agriculture is a rural activity means that the two overlap in spatial terms. Consequently, many poor people are involved in agriculture, and a part of total agricultural output is provided by poor land-owners and poor labourers. Second, the historical role of the land tenure system in Mexico to redistribute wealth is closely connected to the agricultural sector for which land is a critical input: the process of dividing land holdings has an impact on agriculture, and the evolution of agriculture affects returns to land. These associations give rise to an expectation that agricultural policies can, should or do alleviate poverty in rural areas. Thus, while the focus of this study is on agricultural policies, and previous chapters have discussed their effects on the agricultural sector and commodity markets, in this chapter the effects of agricultural policies on rural poverty is explored in terms of the incidence of support.

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