TODAY PANAMA – Due to the poor performance of the 2014-15 harvest, local production will last only until July, and 1 million hundredweight will need to be imported in order to meet demand until September.
The rice guild estimates that 2014-15 production will be 25% lower than the previous period, leaving “… a deficit of 17,073 hectares, compared to 67,073 hectares in the previous period.”
Prensa.com reports that “… agricultural authorities planned to cultivate 72,200 hectares of rice, but the extent of the dry season only allowed for planting of 50,000 hectares. It is estimated that by the end of the agricultural year, on 30 April, planting will have reached 52,000 hectares. ”
Moses Batista, National Director of Agriculture, at the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), explained that “… ‘If this amount is not imported, rice will only last until July.’ ”