Production of staple foods in Bolivia, such as soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, sunflower and chia, is set to decrease by 5 percent in 2022, with drought reducing yields. The manufacturing sector expressed its concern as production declined for the second consecutive year.
Fidel Flores, president of the Association of Oilseed and Wheat Producers (ANAPO), pointed out that the production of the said foodstuff reached a volume of 4,523,978 tons, that is, 5 percent less than the production of 2021, when it reached 4,784,317 tons.
Flores explained that the decrease in production was due to a reduction in yield due to drought, which affected summer and winter operations. The water deficit resulted in a decrease of 966,000 tonnes compared to 2020, which is considered normal management, i.e. not affected by drought.
Despite the reduction in production volumes, the food production chain generated an economic movement of at least $1.8 billion, an amount that represents a 12 percent increase compared to 2021.
The president of Anapo said that only 4 percent growth was recorded in terms of sown area in 2022, which led him to believe that farmers needed to improve their situation through legal protection of their land.
“We look forward to restarting the productive agenda proposed to the government as soon as possible, because it is necessary to make a joint public-private effort to generate the conditions that allow us to increase food production,” Flores said. “
In this sense, he called on the government to step up measures such as access to biotechnology, legal protection for productive land and strengthening the fight against trafficking.
According to Anapo estimates, the region could stop producing about one million tonnes of food in 2022 due to lack of access to biotechnology, as the use of genetically modified seeds allows for crops that are more resistant to drought, pests and diseases. Resistant to diseases, which increases yield.
According to Anapo data, corn production in 2022 is set to reach a volume of 453,000 tonnes, which means a decrease of 28 percent compared to 2021.
In this context, the poultry sector expressed its concern about the shortage of corn, the main input in the production of chicken meat.
Omar Castro, president of the Santa Cruz Poultry Farmers’ Association (ADA), confirmed that the supply of corn is not guaranteed until 2023, which is why he considered it necessary to approve a decree for the importation of this grain.
The government has raised questions on the hike in prices
Jorge Silva, deputy consumer defense minister, confirmed that Santa Cruz businessmen raised the price of a kilo of chicken meat to between 15 and 15.50 bolivianos to “compensate for the million-dollar economic losses” during the 36-day civil strike.
“The irony is that it is the businessmen who are somehow funding, contributing and encouraging unemployment, affecting the economy of the entire department, who have found a way to reach into the consumer’s pocket, and whatever they Lost has found a way to get it back. Unemployment”, confirmed the authority.
In general, a kilo of chicken costs between 10, 10.50 and 13 boliviano in Santa Cruz.