Farming subsidies remain a controversial topic because, even if they serve to boost competition, not everybody benefits. It’s the same picture from France and Germany to the USA and Mexico. Subsidos al Campo is the first Latin American platform of its kind, and gives detailed information about six state agricultural subsidy programmes in Mexico. The mass of data is made accessible on a map. Through this, it came to light that some high-level government officials and huge agri-businesses had received enormous sums unjustly.
The Subsidios al Campo project is run by Fundar, a research centre, and has been running since 2008. Mexican citizens have the right to unrestricted access to public information, and this project aims to make this right a practical reality. But the makers of Subsidios al Campo also have a less abstract aim, in that they want to publically draw attention to the inconsistent and unjust distribution of subsidies. They seem to be succeeding: since 2008 more than 20 million searches have been made on the site. This increases pressure to change government policy, and it has already led to the introduction of minimum and maximum levels of grants.