Rice producers are calling for low prices. On Tuesday, October 10, 2017, they blocked the main roads in the Guayas province in order to attract the attention of the authorities. Currently, the minimum support price for the 200-pound rice bag – with 20% moisture and 5% impurities – is at USD 35.50.
But farmers say that private companies pay between USD 18 and 26. These values, they say, are not enough to cover production costs, which are estimated at USD 30 per bag.
The producers claim that the entry of smuggled rice from Peru has depleted the national product market. One quintal of Peruvian rice is sold at USD 25.
The president of the Chamber of Agriculture Zone II Kléber Sigüenza pointed out that it is necessary that state subsidies focus on small producers, whose productive structure is affected by the high costs of inputs, goods and services in the face of low productivity. He added that this sector is not properly modernized. (I)