Panama: Crisis in Rice Sector Worries Businesses
In the province of Chiriqui, of the rice production for 2012, planned at 29,000 hectares, only 14,935 hectares have been planted, twenty days before the end of the season.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Lack of incentives for the rice sector, continued imports of the grain and high production costs have led to a reduction in production of almost 50% in terms of acreage planted.
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The disadvantage in terms of productivity and prices of Panamanian rice farmers against major world producers, has trapped producers, many of whom are abandoning the crop.
The signing of the agreement between the government, representatives of the rice sector and growers puts an end to the conflict caused by administrative price-fixing.
An agreement has been made with over 300 producers to buy at $22.5 a quintal the surplus that has not been placed on the market.
In the past four years, the number of farmers engaged in rice production increased from 743 to 1,200, drawn by a fixed price system which in 2011 was covered by a subsidy amounting to $104 million.
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