BABAHOYO – Several hectares of soybeans are ready for harvest or are already being gathered. However there are no buyers according to the producers comments.
About eight thousand small and medium producers of soybeans express their concern since no one is buying the harvest and it’s ready.
Ángel Benavídez, President of the Agricultural Producers Association of Los Rios, pointed out that a month ago they had a meeting with the Advisory Council along with the Undersecretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Donald Castillo, discussed the comercialization of soybeans. The meeting ended with the signing of the Ministerial Agreement 322 by the Minister Ramón Espinel.
The document establishes that from August 15 each sack of soybeans with 45,36 kilograms will be sold at $25,50 with 12 degrees of dampness and 1 degree of impurity. The industries of balanced food and extractors of oil will buy the harvest. But this agreement has been disrespected until today and no company buys the product, according to Benavídez.
William Lara, a small agricultor, commented that the situation is getting complicated because most of the farmers have the soybean on its maximun harvest point, and several are worried that the rain may damage it, or that the sun opens the pod and the grains gets lost.
Pedro Riera, another producer of the Babahoyo area, said that many farmers have stacks of soybeans ready to be harvested and if they don’t do it quickly the grain will be lost because it can’t stay so much time in the pod. Other farmers have already harvested their crops and stock it in sacks ready for sale but they don’t know what to do with all the debts.
Meanwhile, Abel Espín had to sell each of his 400 sacks in $20, this caused him to lose money since he had to cancel debts. “This is the risk we assume because nobody buys the product and only the Government can authorize a quick buyout, even though they know we spend $900 to a $1,000 per block and from that area they take 35 to 40 sacks”.
Joffre Arregui, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fishing in Los Rios, stated that next week the soybean crop purchase may start, but so far it’s not definitive.
The soybeans plantations of national level in 2010 consist in 47 thousand hectares and production is estimated at 71 thousands tons of production. The province of Los Rios cultivates the 90% of the product.