ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Food for People Limits of Reform

The Politics of Food in Mexico: State Power and Social Mobilisation by Jonathan Fox; Cornell University Press, 1993; x+280. THIS book contains a useful discussion of an important policy intervention by the Mexican government in the early 80s in the system of food production and consumption. The" programme known as the Sistema Alimentario Mexicano (SAM), or the Mexican Food System, attempted to increase production of basic food products (cereals, beans) and to provide a basket of essential food products at reasonable prices to the poor in rural and urban areas. In theory, the SAM programme involved a reversal of agricultural policies pursued since the 1940s, which had favoured export-oriented large producers on irrigated land and private ranchers and not small, maizeand bean- growing peasants. The essence of the SAM programme was the provision of producer and consumer subsidies that were financed by revenues from the oil sector.

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