Bolivian producers welcome opening of export market

By Melodie Michel

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade

Bolivian producers welcome opening of export market
The Bolivian government has allowed beef, rice and corn producers to export their production surplus, lifting a three-year ban that helped the country achieve self-sufficiency.

Bolivia’s minister of development Teresa Morales said the government’s measures had been successful in cutting the country’s dependency on imports, and had even opened the way for exports.

Meat producers have welcomed the decision, but hope that the current quota of 2,000 tonnes (t) can be gradually increased to 4,000t. Federation of Santa Cruz livestock farmers (Fegasacruz) president Juan Carlos Peredo added that he hoped the authorisation also included semen and live animals.

Bolivia’s eastern agricultural chamber (CAO), hailed the effort made in the area over the past two years. President Julio Roda said: “The CAO presented eight important points to the government, including meat and rice exports, and managed to go forward in the majority of those points. It is this way that we have received the documents authorising the exportation of 2,000t of meat and 30,000t of rice.”

He added that in order to become a successful exporter, Bolivia needed to strengthen its food safety and inspection authority (Senasag), which has shown difficulty in the past few months due to a lack of financial resources. “We, producers, are trying to help in any way possible and to find any mechanism through which we can contribute financially to Senasag and avoid it going under, as it is crucial for exports and imports,”​ Roda said.

Announcing the measure, Minister Morales criticised the opposition that “said prohibiting exports would discourage production”.

“In the past we did not have enough rice, corn or meat; we decided to ban exports of these three products. We are now bringing good news as the government for the Bolivian people: we are self-sufficient in meat, rice and corn, and we are going to export the surplus of these three items,” ​she said.

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