The End of Banrural in the Region

In the 1990 Spring-Summer farming cycle, ANAGSA was abolished, and the new insurance arrangements provided by ANAGSA were introduced. Those ejidatarios who continued to sow with BANRURAL credit were not, however, told in advance what this new system would entail. Those who sowed sorghum were especially badly hit. With the government’s decision to remove sorghum from the guaranteed price system and lift restrictions on imports, 1990 would have been a bad year for sorghum producers simply because of the low prices offered by the regional large grain merchants (acaparadores), who refused point blank to honour the "precio de concertación" supposedly agreed between the government and their representatives at national level. In the Ciénega, however, it was also a bad year for physical yields, a reflection of both recent local climatic abnormalities and a further deterioration of cultivation practices because of rising costs. AGROASEMEX lacked the manpower to conduct effective crop inspections, and the young and inexperienced inspector I interviewed actually saw his task as that of castigating a peasantry whom the government was determined to eliminate. Even when ejidatarios received more sympathetic treatment, few attempted the journey to Morelia necessary to file a claim and none had the cash in hand to pay BANRURAL before doing so, a requirement of the new system which was clearly unfavourable to cash-starved peasant farmers. As a result, a majority of Ciénega ejidatarios ended the cycle with carteras vencidas, which provided the government with the pretext it required to close the local office of BANRURAL, along with six others in the state, in July 1991.