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GM cotton seeds in Mexico

The only GM cotton seeds allowed in Mexico are obsolete varieties and mostly unavailable on the world market, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

According to cotton producers, ginning companies and government officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader), the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) will soon approve new cotton seed varieties.

However, these sources claim that the new varieties are seven to 10 years old, which will not help increase production yields.

Mexico: Cotton Production, Supply and Distribution

In Mexico, planted area and yields are constrained by limited access to innovative seed technologies and high input costs.

The Mexican government has not approved any GM cotton planting permits since 2019.

GM cotton seeds

The government also restricted glyphosate imports under the February 2023 Corn Decree, which calls for phasing out the use of glyphosate by 2024.

Some cotton growers have tried to overcome the production challenges they face by investing in new irrigation systems that are more efficient in their use of water and fertilizer.

Some cotton growers have tried to overcome the production challenges they face by investing in new irrigation systems that are more efficient in their use of water and fertilizer.

But the new systems are expensive and subject to damage from frequent power outages.

Even with financing provided by the ginning companies, producers have no real incentive to continue investing when considering the other yield constraints, including drought conditions and limited access to new seed varieties.

Investments in more efficient machinery and increased mill capacity could allow the Mexican textile industry to adapt and respond quickly if consumer demand increases.

The USDA said that U.S. cotton is expected to capture a 100% share of the Mexican textile industry’s import needs, due to quality and consistency preferences, preferential terms of trade and logistical proximity.

According to U.S. government projections, cotton imports for the 2023/24 season will be 900,000 bales, a 20% increase over the previous year due to lower expected production.

 

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