The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Ruben Flores, came to the step yesterday before the claims of the rice producers who closed three roads of Guayas, last Tuesday. He noted that the problem of the sector was inherited from the management of the last ten years.
Flores said that in the previous administration the production of this grass was encouraged, but there was never any planning to export. “In four months of management we have shown clear signs of export openings, something that in the last decade has been closed,” he said.
Flores affirmed that a debt has been solved by the National Storage Unit (UNA) in favor of the producers, for the purchase of quinoa, and whose value is approximately $ 1’000,000.
But he did not agree that the producers ask for the payment of some $ 15 million for some 15 thousand tons of rice that were sent to Cuba.
He said that for that delivery the UNA did not receive money. “It was an exchange of rice by doctors who came to Ecuador, it was compensated, but nobody paid the UNA. It was an agreement between chancelleries. In the Ministry there is no document to pay that debt, but we are still working to find a solution to this problem, “the minister added.
He asked not to politicize the issue of possible solutions to the rice problem, because there could be an opposite effect.
In this context, he described as “sensitive” the situation of this product and said it is impossible “to stop seeing that those who take the roads on behalf of small producers, which are those with one to ten hectares, have a tractor Ferguson 850 horsepower or a nine-ton truck, “he questioned.
“Those are not our small producers, there are other actors,” Flores said, and indicated that with the rice farmers there is a road map that will meet them. Discarded a possible meeting this day with the rice farmers. (I)