Category Archives: Agriculture

Will drought dim Baja California’s wine boom?

Valle de GuadalupeSan Diego Union-Tribune -The past five years have left Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe high and dry. The semiarid Valle has fallen well below its already paltry 8 to 10 inches annual average rainfall since 2010.

The drought has juiced the Valle de Guadalupe’s wine industry into survival mode, with owners and growers trying everything they can — from old-fashioned farming techniques to innovative technology to buying up land outside the Valle — to keep the grapes growing and the wine flowing.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/may/26/will-drought-dim-baja-wine-boom/

Mexico plans historic land reform to boost investment

If the reform is passed as planned, it could be the most dramatic overhaul of rural land rights since a 1992 reform.
If the reform is passed as planned, it could be the most dramatic overhaul of rural land rights since a 1992 reform.

By Gabriel Stargardter and Dave Graham / Reuters

Mexico’s government is drawing up a land reform to strengthen the rights of private companies dealing with rural landholders in a bid to lure investment and lift the economy, according to two people familiar with the plan.

The legislation being drafted will draw on an energy reform completed last year that gave the government more power to act in favor of investors in disputes with communal landholders over usage of rural areas such as those known as ejidos, said the two officials from the government and the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Part of a wider agricultural reform, the sensitive issue of how to create a firmer legal footing for developers without inflaming protests from poor landholders is with the ministry of agrarian, territorial and urban development, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

With almost half of Mexico’s population living in poverty, a large part of them in rural areas, the rights of communal landholders, or ejidatarios, have long been protected in Mexico.

President Enrique Pena Nieto risks major opposition to the reform plan, especially from left-wing groups.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/14/mexico-reforms-idUSL1N0Y301420150514

Baja farmworkers reach pact with government, employers

AP – Mexican farmworkers fighting low wages and poor working conditions in Baja California have reached an agreement with the government and their employer. Daily wages will go from 100 to 200 pesos ($13 a day). Workers will be added to the social security system and will be allowed to unionize.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/mexico-farmworkers-reach-agreement-government-employer-31060925

2 million ag workers toil under “semi-slavery” conditions

Children ag workersTeleSur –  A report by the Red de Jornaleros Internos (Network of Internal Day Laborers) revealed that 90 percent of Mexican agricultural workers do not have a contract and, therefore, no labor rights, such as social security, medical services, or bonuses. It added that eight of 10 workers do not have access to doctors in case of sickness or accidents.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mexico-2M-Agricultural-Workers-Under-Semi-Slavery-Conditions-20150406-0011.html

Baja California farm workers strike for higher pay, better conditions

Laborers from the Valle de San Quintin protest on the side of the main highway south of Ensenada. Workers from about 60 farms in the area walked off their jobs on March 16. (Omar Millan/Associated Press)
Laborers from the Valle de San Quintin protest on the side of the main highway south of Ensenada. Workers from about 60 farms in the area walked off their jobs on March 16. (Omar Millan/Associated Press)

By Omar Millan / AP

Workers at large, export-oriented farms in the Mexican border state of Baja California have led a week of violent protests over low pay, abuses and poor conditions, threatening a harvest that supplies millions of dollars worth of tomatoes, strawberries and other crops to the United States.

Burning tires and tossing rocks at vehicles, hundreds of farmworkers have blocked Baja’s main north-south highway on and off, and as many as 50,000 are believed to be on strike statewide as of Tuesday.

Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega said over the weekend that the harvest — and thousands of jobs — were at risk. “If the fields continue without a workforce, the harvests will be lost and that will affect everyone who depends on this part of the economy,” his office said in a press statement.

Many of the workers are migrants from southern Mexican states like Guerrero and Oaxaca who toil at huge hot-house farms just south of Ensenada. Their demands — health care, overtime pay, days off, an end to abuse by field bosses and more pay than the $8 many earn for a full day of stoop-labor — echo those of farmworkers 40 years ago in the United States.

https://www.google.com/search?q=baja+farm+worker+strike+photos&espv=2&biw=1225&bih=633&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=dv8RVfa8B7TIsATH-IGgBg&ved=0CB0QsAQ