Mexico City - Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) put one of his campaign promises - to plant a million hectares of fruit and timber trees throughout the country during his six-year administration - into motion last weekend by conducting field tests in the Lacandona jungle in Chiapas and the Usumacinta basin in Tabasco.
Lopez Obrador's reforestation program will be divided into two stages: 500 thousand hectares in 2019 and 500 thousand more in 2020, which will improve the environment and create a total of 400,000 jobs, among other benefits.
This program will generate 80 thousand permanent - not temporary - jobs, and support will also be given to small landowners and ejidatarios to ensure that a fair wage is paid so that Chiapanecans and their children can work planting those fruit and timber trees, he added.
"In Chiapas alone, six billion pesos will be invested for this program, so there will be work, so the Chiapanecans can take root, can work and be happy where they were born, where their family members are, where their customs and culture are," AMLO pointed out. "And those who want to leave can do so because they want to, not because they have to," he said, "because there will be work in the towns, in the communities and in all of the ejidos in Chiapas."
This support also includes livestock, and all ejidos with suitable conditions can take delivery of 10, 20 and up to 100 heifers and stallions, on credit and without interest, to be paid for in three or four years with the offspring, he explained.
According to López Obrador, for more than 20 years, cattle from Central America has been imported to the north, while cattle ranching in Chiapas and Tabasco has been failing. And this program, he said, is intended to repopulate the pastures of Chiapas.
He also pledged to support corn producers in the state with "compensation" and to set "guarantee prices" for that grain. And he assured that this will make the La Frailesca region of Chiapas the corn-producing region it once was.Sources: BajoPalabra • Proceso