An old society deeply affected by its history
Agricultural politics may be explained by an old agrarian past. This is the case for the state of Mexico, which trained and helped small farmers, and created low-yield small farms that remained for a long time the basis of the Mexican economy.
Native Indian civilizations had long ago developed an intensive agriculture, as the floating gardens around Mexico City can testify. After the Spanish conquest, a deep inequality between the owners of large properties ("haciendas ") and the hereditarily indebted peons (farm workers), was established.
After the Revolution of 1910, the government of Mexico started one the first agrarian reforms in Latin America. Strongly dependent on state support, the peasants gathered in " ejidos." They remained very poor, but they produce for the market.
Nowadays, the Mexican government faces great economic difficulties. It can no longer support the cost of these ejidos.
Now the future is in the hands of the poor peasants themselves. Will
they be able to benefit from the opening of the North American market?