The difficulties faced by rice farmers and have worsened as a result of climate change that has beaten and affected the harvest area, were analyzed for almost three hours in a meeting held on Tuesday August -14, in the Chair of the Republic, a high government commission, headed by Minister Roberto Henriquez, and representatives of the Association of Rice Producers of Chiriquí (Apach), in order to develop strategies to deal with problems.
The Minister of the Presidency said that this meeting is given to coordinate actions between different government entities linked to the agricultural sector in order to be able to support producers to the ongoing crisis at the moment.
The main conclusions of the meeting, the Minister of Agriculture, Oscar Osorio announced that another meeting was scheduled with rice farmers in the province of Chiriqui to August 27, with the participation of other authorities and experts to develop a document to be presented to the Executive. "We Measure technicians, producers, members of the Assembly, ADB economists to discuss and take a formal proposal to the Executive, viable and help ensure that all producers in the country," said Osorio.
The head of the government said MIDA and listened to the concerns and worries, continue to support the producers in various ways, including technology to achieve these benefits increase production in the country. He explained that the current situation, any decision taken, compared to the points made by the producers, as the application of a higher price for a quintal of rice, should be based on a proposal technically feasible.
In this sense, the director of the Institute of Agricultural Marketing (IMA), Julio Abrego explained that producers apply a payment per quintal of B/.24.80 figure he called "quite difficult and we agree with the consumer." "Producers B/.24.80 asking for dirty rice and humid, but eventually end up in 28 to 30 dollars and mills will not have the actual availability of pay that price. We have to be aware that here the rice should be paying between B/.22.00 B/.21.50 up to match and keep the price we currently have in the consumer market, "said Abrego.
Overall, producers exposed to the various government authorities have been facing problems as in financing, the low profitability in growing, high production costs, among others, which have had their effects on the market . The producers explained that the situation has become more complicated as a result of climate change.
In this sense, the IMA director indicated that the Government continue to support rice producers, a sensitive item in the country where consumption exceeds 20 million pounds daily. While evaluating new strategies and measures to help farmers, explained that currently there is a bench and through loans to 2%, soil analysis, seed subsidies certified and registered, representing technology and genetic potential use of very high.
For food safety, Abrego said "we maintain rice imports that have occurred, we are sure to keep the price for now and that the consumer is the most consumed item, there will be shortages because we will have what is produced domestically or imported. "
For his part, President of the Apach, Gabriel Arauz described as positive the meeting, in which "we could concretize many points, we have expressed a high level committee of the national producer direct problem, and apparently if we heard, we have reached many agreements to solve immediate problems in the short and long term is the agricultural sector. "
Araúz stressed that climate change has come to further aggravate the situation of producers. "While we kept productions before averaging 100 quintals per hectare in the province of Chiriqui, this year because of climate change we are getting down productions ranging between 75 and 80 per hectare and general level," he said.
The meeting with rice farmers, was also attended by the Deputy Minister of MIDA, Gerardino Batista, the director of the Institute of Agricultural Insurance, Ruben Dario Campos, the director of the Institute of Agricultural Research of Panama, Paolo Ducaza and Rigoberto Amaya, director Agricultural Development Bank, among others.