Agriculture: Linking productivity Improvements and Environmental Outcomes in California and Mexico

U.S. Coordinator: Prof. Dan Sumner. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. University of California, Davis.

Mexico Coordinator: Armando Sanchez, Director of the Institute for Economic Research, UNAM

Description: For Mexico and California the agricultural sector is of key importance. California is the leading agricultural state, in terms of value, of the United States, while in Mexico the agricultural sector is an important component of Mexico’s GDP and plays an important role in terms of Mexico’s food security. Climate change poses a challenge for the agricultural sector of both Mexico and California as the number and intensity of droughts and heat waves is likely to increase. Climate change impacts are likely to reflect on agricultural production and environmental outcomes such as labor health, ecosystem integrity, and others. Agricultural production is no longer viewed an isolated process, instead, agricultural and environmental outcomes are now considered related and impacting society’s wellbeing in unison.

While the challenges imposed by climate change and its socioeconomic and environmental consequences are significant, they also provide opportunities where collaboration between policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders bring about positive socio-economic outcomes. Some of the questions to consider in this session are:

  • What are the roles of technological innovation and adoption in improving the agricultural sectors in Mexico and California?
  • Are there opportunities of collaboration in developing agricultural technological improvements that benefit both Mexico and California?
  • Can we envision a framework for Mexico and California where agricultural production and related positive environmental outcomes are viewed as complements instead of competing activities? If so, how do we move towards this approach?
  • Can the private sector in both Mexico and California contribute with academia and the public sector in developing a common agricultural agenda?