Corn and Mexican Agriculture: What Went Wrong?

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Abstract

The debt crisis of the 1980s caused the development strategy pursued by the Mexican government to be subject to a radical adjustment process that triggered deep repercussions for the agricultural sector and its farmers, particularly in the corn sector. In combination with the aggressive agricultural policies sustained by the U.S. government, the new approach meant that Mexican agriculture operated within an economic environment characterized by significant asymmetries and distortions, some internal and some imposed by major trading partners. This article summarizes and documents the most salient results of these policy events as well as their implications for the corn sector, and discusses some of the challenges to repair the agricultural sector in Mexico.

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