Mexico's agriculture industry could lose $US3.7B from cold snap

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Mexico's agriculture industry could lose $US3.7B from cold snap

Mexico's National Rural Confederation (CNC) has said the recent cold snap that gripped the country's agricultural sector was the worst in its history, with an estimated cost of US$3.7 billion (45 billion pesos), website reported.

CNC president Gerardo Sánchez García said one million hectares were damaged across the states of Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Sonora, Durango, Veracruz y San Luis Potosí, affecting corn, wheat, sorghum, potato, tomato, vegetable, citrus, chilli, broccoli and chickpea crops, El Universo reported.

He told the newspaper that farmers needed a clear and rapid policy response from the government as a 'plan B' to rescue the northern agricultural region, with a reallocation of budget funding.

Sánchez García highlighted statements from Mexico's president Felipe Calderón promising 'all the money that is needed' for Sinaloa, asking for an extension of this help to other states that were affected by the low temperatures, the story reported.

El Universo reported that social sector farmers were having to take matters into their own hands if sufficient help wasn't given.

The estimated figures come amid heated political debate concerning a free trade agreement (FTA) with Peru, Colombia and Brazil and the effects it could have on farmers.

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