LatinNews Daily - 18 April 2023

In brief: Mexican agri-lobby warns against closure of rural development agency

*Mexico’s agriculture and livestock confederation (CNA) has raised concerns over the government’s plans to shutter the rural development agency, Financiera Nacional de Desarrollo Agropecuario, Rural, Forestal y Pesquero (FND). This comes after President Andrés Miguel López Obrador announced plans to close the FND, a decentralised body that provides financing for agricultural producers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to promote rural development, in a press conference on 17 April. López Obrador said that the decision to shutter the FND was linked to the prevention of corruption and influence-peddling, and that it has long been “damaged”, claiming that funding was being distributed to organisations linked to political parties. He said that alternative support methods were available to producers. However, the CNA expressed concern regarding the impact that the closure would have on the agricultural sector and particularly on small and medium-sized producers, whom it said relied on FND funding. “The [FND] funding is a tool for development that allows for the modernisation of our countryside [and] access to new technologies to achieve a more efficient production methods,” reads the CNA statement. The CNA states that, without such funding, producers would be forced to seek funding from other, less convenient sources in order to continue activity, and could potentially turn to informal intermediaries and illegal actors.

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