Mar 8, 2012

NAFTA: Defending Corn and Culture in Rural Oaxaca

Witness for Peace: "Corn is sacred in Mexico. Indigenous groups, of which there are 16 in Oaxaca, consider corn to be a gift from the gods. It forms the basis of the way they have structured their communities, marked the cycles of the year, and maintained their fundamental connection to the land for thousands of years.

Despite corn’s 8000+ year history of cultivation in Oaxaca, present-day threats could possibly wipe out the traditional, sustainable farming practices used by indigenous farmers in the region.

... For over 18 years now, the North American Free Trade Agreement has lead to the devastation of the Mexican countryside, through removing price supports and credits to small farmers like the ones in Oaxaca. Through subsidies from the U.S. government, large scale agribusinesses can sell their corn below the cost of production, undermining Mexican farmers’ abilities to sell their own crops at a decent price." read more

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