The new President-Elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, is planning a transformative agricultural plan including the reforestation of his country. He has hired a team who will direct a sowing project of 1 million hectares of timber and fruit.
On his way to the Selva Lacandona, to study the condition of the fields, Lopez Obrador stopped to savor a bowl of beans with pork at the “La popular” inn, in San Juan El Alto, Jalapa, Tabasco.
On arrival, he stopped to film his thoughts on the massive agricultural project:
“The sowing and reforestation project will allow us to improve the environment and create 400, 000 jobs, among other benefits. During previous neo-liberal administrations, the Mexican fields had been neglected. We have idle land sitting and not producing anything; this has pushed many farmers to leave in search of survival. Despite the fertility of the land, currently, many field workers have no choice but to move north.
Let the one who leaves, leave out of choice, not out of necessity. So many fields have been abandoned. The Mexican farmer must have job opportunities in Mexico. With our new agricultural project, migration will be optional. We plan on hiring 400,000 peasants to work where they were born, where their relatives are.
We have everything to succeed: the earth, the water, the knowledge. Our indigenous peasants are heirs of the knowledge of the great civilizations. Now the government is going to support this area of work so that all Mexicans can get ahead in their own country. We are going to invest in the countryside, and this will take the villagers out of poverty.
This is going to become our new reality.
We are going to divide this agricultural project into 2 stages: 500,000 hectares in 2019, and 500,000 in 2020. The thinking behind the stages is that cocoa takes 3 years to produce. Currently, we are buying cocoa from abroad, yet cocoa is native to these lands. We are buying corn and we are importing coffee when we could produce both.
Soon, Mexico will start producing what it consumes. That will be one of many changes. We will strengthen our national economy and our domestic market. As part of this agricultural transformation, 200,000 jobs will become available in 2019 and 200,000 more in 2020. These will be permanent jobs and farmers will be paid a good salary.”
The promise to develop the land and to focus on domestic job security is in alignment with Lopez Obrador’s July, 2018th letter to Donald Trump:
“When it comes to the topic of migration, my goal is to create the type of country where migrants do not have to migrate due to poverty or violence. We want migration to be optional and not a necessity. We will focus our efforts on ensuring that our people find work where they live, where their families are, where their culture is. To accomplish this goal, our administration will take on the greatest challenge a presidency here has ever confronted. We will have to unearth corruption, abolish impunity, act with austerity and allocate finances to develop our country.”