Cotton production in Mexico plummets by 33%

Cotton production in Mexico plummets by 33%

MEXICO – Cotton production in Mexico has plummeted by 33% from its all-time high in 2018-2019 to 261,000 tons, noted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Mexico has not reported any official approvals of biotech food or feed products since May 2018.

In addition, Mexico has rejected or delayed all permit applications for the cultivation of transgenic cotton in 2019, citing the precautionary principle.

“Cotton is the only transgenic crop planted in Mexico, and although production reached a record in the 2018/2019 marketing year, the lack of availability of updated seed along with additional challenges in the sector has significantly reduced production (approximately a 33% reduction) and quality,” USDA said in a report.

Cotton is the only commercially produced transgenic crop in Mexico, with traits that include resistance to lepidopteran insects and tolerance to dicamba, glufosinate-ammonium and glyphosate herbicides.

According to USDA, growers have faced a shortage of cotton seed since 2019 as the Mexican government continues to refuse or delay approvals for transgenic cotton seed permits, citing the precautionary principle and concerns about transgenic varieties intermingling with traditional wild cotton populations in the southern part of the country.

The only events approved for planting in Mexico are outdated and not available on the world market, and growers report that they do not have enough seed to plant.

According to USDA, growers have faced a shortage of cotton seed since 2019 as the Mexican government continues to refuse or delay approvals for transgenic cotton seed permits, citing the precautionary principle and concerns about transgenic varieties intermingling with traditional wild cotton populations in the southern part of the country.

In Mexico, the process of obtaining approval to plant cotton is granted through permits from the Ministry of Agriculture, distributed directly to seed companies that apply to grow a specific number of hectares.

Source: El Economista

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