Farmers in Daule and surrounding areas are concerned because they still cannot deliver their rice production in the National Storage Unit (UNA EP). Around 09:00 yesterday, Newspaper EL TELEGRAFO found that about 35 vehicles lined up inside and outside the company waiting to be served.
The farmers indicated that they have been waiting there since last Sunday, with the concern that the rice overheats and then does not pass the quality tests required by the Ecuadorian Standardization Institute (INEN). Juan Diaz, from Buena Vista, (via Salitre) had 350 raw sacks since that day. “If the rice does not pass the test we have to give it to the industrialists where they pay what they have”.
When rejected, the farmer must sell it to the purifiers that pay between $ 27 and $ 28, while the official price is $ 35.50. In their desperation, yesterday the farmers tried to close the road. Agents of the Ecuadorian Transit Commission (CTE) and the police arrived to protect the facilities of the UNA EP in Daule, which, according to peasant versions, began the process of buying rice since January 26.
This newspaper requested an interview with Juan Zambrano, manager of the Daule plant, but indicated that he was not authorized to give statements. One hour later, another representative of the UNA EP spoke with the farmers and informed them that to help them and speed up the process, they would take tests of the rice they carried in the trucks.
On this occasion they made an exception and would accept up to 8% impurity (normal is 5%). The situation of the UNA EP was also one of the axes discussed in the National Rice Forum that began last Monday in Guayaquil.
Kléber Sigüenza, president of the Chamber of Agriculture II Zone, indicated that “the UNA does not efficiently fulfill its role because it is tied to regulations (…). It also needs economic resources to continue receiving rice from the producer. The proposals resulting from this forum will be presented this Friday to the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Rubén Flores. (I)