July 29, 2008

Mexican Government Inks Deal With Wheat Farmers to Secure Supply

Mexican government inks deal with wheat farmers to secure supply

MEXICO CITY, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The Mexican government has signed a deal with wheat growing farmers and related enterprises as part of the effort to secure the country's wheat supplies and stabilize mounting food prices, local media reported on Sunday.

Under the deal, the government will earmark 27.7 million U.S. dollars for the project this year and will work out incentives to expand the area planted to wheat and raise wheat yields.

The government hopes that the country's annual wheat output would reach 5.2 million tons in 2012 from the current 3.3 million tons, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development Alberto Cardenas Jimenez said.

The funds will be used to improve the country's farm irrigation system,create better planting conditions, purchase harvesting machinery, develop high-quality seeds, he said.

HIgher output and ample supplies will help curb wheat imports and therefore stabilize the domestic market, the government says.

According to statistics released by the ministry, in 2007, Mexico had to import 71 percent of its needs for the strain of wheat that is suitable for making basic foodstuffs including bread.

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