Mexico's agriculture secretary says ethanol production is bankrupting cattle and poultry farmers and causing food prices to hit record highs around the world.

Agriculture Secretary Alberto Cardenas says countries should change their policies and reduce production of grains for the alternative fuel.

Speaking to cattle farmers Wednesday, Cardenas says the government has earmarked more than 9 billion pesos (US$8.75 million) to help 500,000 ranchers.

Mexico froze prices on more than 150 food products last week to help families cope with rising prices.

President Felipe Calderon said prices for goods such as beans, canned tuna, fruit juices, coffee, ketchup and canned tomatoes will remain fixed until Dec. 31.