California’s Community Development Finance Association (CDFA) has signed a cooperation agreement with officials from Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa), setting out a series of measures to strengthen collaboration between the state and Mexico in the agriculture industry.
The deal sets out a number of trade priorities that address issues such as cross-border trade delays, technical dialogue related to the organics trade, agricultural cooperative extension outreach and climate change collaboration.
“Mexico is a vital partner for California agriculture,” said CDFA’s secretary Karen Ross. “Further collaboration between our countries will enhance the opportunities within the agricultural sector for farmers and ranchers in both of our nations.”
The agreement follows months of dialogue between CDFA and Sagarpa that culminated in a meeting between Ross and Enrique Martinez y Martinez at the Produce Marketing Association trade show in Anaheim at the end of October.
California is the largest agricultural producer and exporter in the nation, with more than US$18bn in food and agricultural exports. Mexico is California’s fifth largest export destination valued at US$888m. Over the last ten years, agricultural exports to Mexico have increased three-fold.
CDFA represents the community development finance institutions (CDFIs), which provide loans and support to people who find it difficult to access finance from the commercial banks.