Millers, traders, consumers, agricultural authorities and rice growers agreed to import 1.3 million quintals of rice paddy in order to meet domestic demand and the shortfall in domestic production.
However, this first batch is milled rice, which has led to the discomfort of growers and others who consider this as “non-compliance” with the agreement between them all. "The shipment of milled grain only benefit supermarkets, reported Ruben Zevallos, president of the Association of Rice Producers Abroad", reported Prensa.com.
The quota for shortages, whose cost is $24.1 million, consists of 444, 600 quintals of milled rice to 650,000 quintals of clean dry unhusked rice.
Not being self sufficient, Panama will again need to import more than one million quintals from abroad from July in order to meet domestic demand this year.
The supply of rice for domestic consumption in Panama is guaranteed until July 2012 with existing stocks of 2.7 million quintals of clean, dry husks in warehouses, according data from the Authority for Consumer Protection and Competition (Acodeco), recorded from January 30th to February 3rd, 2012.
100,000 tons could be imported by the government to cover shortfalls in the coverage of domestic demand of about 3 million quintals.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce (SIC in Spanish) is studying the import of 100,000 metric tons of unprocessed rice to cover the deficit recorded in the coverage of domestic demand, which could reach approximately 3 million quintals in 2012.
The country will import 1.3 million quintals in order to compensate for current low crop yields.
The import of an initial quota of 1.3 million quintals of rice to meet domestic demand, was approved by the Agri-Food Rice Chain, which is a body composed by producers, millers, traders, consumers and agricultural authorities.
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