An article in Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "Maga statistics indicate that the production of white maize has increased by 46% in the last six years, rising from 743 million quintals in 2006/07 to 1,080,000 for this year. "
For the 2013 crop production is estimated at just over 33 million quintals, while the total annual amount for domestic consumption is 40 million quintals.
There is also a need to import beans.
Gustavo Garcia, responsible for operating the Emergency Unit of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture said that "The country will continue as in previous years with a deficit of 5 percent in maize production - of the 40 million quintals we need in Guatemala per year - and 7 percent in the production of beans, -- of the 4.5 million quintals we need per year -but this deficit is covered by the entry of maize from Mexico and Belize, and in the case of beans from Mexico and Nicaragua. "
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The production of both grains will be around 37.5 million and 5 million quintals respectively, therefore the MAGA is able to guarantee the supply for domestic consumption.
According to Carlos Anzueto, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, preliminary projections for consumption are in the order of 2.4 quintals per person per year (about 33.6 million quintals), and in the case of beans, per capita consumption is equivalent to about 30 pounds per year (about 4.2 million quintals).
Due to a reduction of local production because of drought, the government has authorized, for the second half of the year, an increase in tax-free imports of red beans, rice and corn.
In the case of red beans, an additional 10,000 tons has been approved on top of the 20,000 authorized in June, while for rice the quantities will be defined in the coming days.
In order to ensure domestic supply and prevent price hikes, the government has announced it will import beans and corn.
Guillermo López Suárez, minister of agriculture and livestock indicated that importing beans "is necessary" to prevent shortages. The beans will be bought from China, South Africa and Ethiopia and the maize will be imported from Mexico and South America.
From May 15th and for a month, 650,000 pounds of hulled rice, 650,000 quintals of unhusked rice, and 60,000 quintals of beans will be imported in the coming months.
The Licensing Committee of Tafiff Rate Quotas has made two calls for imports of corn and rice, according to the requirements of the WTO.