Rice growers from the province of Chiriquí won't be able to reach their goal of planting 65.000 hectares.
"We'll hardly reach 50.000 hectares, and 7 million quintals are needed to supply the market. We'll only get 5", said Alexander Araúz, president of the Rice Growers Association of Chiriquí, known as Apach.
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.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has authorized the duty free import of 4.980 metric tons of rice.
The move is in response to a deficit of 150,000 quintals in domestic production, due to poor production performance in the Colon area.
Freddy Torres, representing rice farmers said that the quota had been requested by them in the previous week, corresponding to 5% of the amount specified in the purchase and sale agreement of existing grains between the government and farmers.
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