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Price revisions in the agricultural sector: between costs and benefits

CAMAGUEY, Cuba, Feb 25 (ACN) The margin between benefits and costs for the production of rice, milk and other items, was one of the main issues discussed Wednesday by Camagüey agricultural producers during a meeting with members of one of the national commissions for the implementation of the re-ordering task in that sector.

The increase in the price of inputs in these activities became one of the most debated points, as emphasized by Michel Bayate Camejo, general director of the Ruta Invasora Grain Agroindustrial Complex, who gave as an example that previously the cost of planting and tending 13.4 hecatre of rice was around 95 thousand pesos, and today it amounts to 400,600 pesos.

The farmers belonging to this company, one of the three largest producers in the country, are very concerned about this situation, because prices have increased 1.4 times, while inputs have increased 5.2 times, and the losses will be significant if the upcoming winter planting campaign is carried out with these costs, said the manager on behalf of those who belong to the units of this entity.

At the present date we should have sown 5,700 hectares of rice, however, we only have 4,200, and even if we achieve a yield of five tons per hectare, as it has usually been done, when making profitability schemes to apply for bank loans today we are not convenient, because we would lose 55,000 pesos every 13.4 hectare.

Regarding milk, one of the most important products in the Camagüey territory, the main proposals were directed to the revision of prices for the transportation of the demanded food, due to the poor condition of most of the roads that connect the farmers with the 181 cooling centers in the demarcation.

Currently, 67 percent of the milk collected for the industry is delivered cold, but the payment to the people involved in these routines does not compensate the effort made, said Reinaldo Rodríguez, livestock specialist in the provincial delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture.

By paying seven pesos and 50 cents per liter of milk, he said, we are talking about a figure that does not cover the costs of the acquisition of inputs, nor the payment of electricity for these refrigerated points, all with high energy consumption, nor the salaries of those who work there.

He also said that the province of Camagüey has a differentiated treatment in all these aspects due to the peculiarities of the livestock sector of the territory, and regarding the sanitary quality of milk, he commented on the need to review the modifications implemented, since most of the producers do not have the ideal conditions to reach the standards now demanded.

Other significant topics were the discussion of the high prices of electricity rates for pumping water for irrigation, a value increased 15 times, fuel payment expenses, and the cost per weight of pork production, previously at 48 cents and currently at 1.17 pesos.

Each of the points discussed during the meeting was very rigorous, and at all times highlighted the commitment of producers and managers of the agricultural sector to ensure food for the people of Camagüey, however, they urged the analysis and thorough review of the guiding documentation of the Ordinance Task in the sector.
The meeting was attended by José Luis Jiménez Casanova, official of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Silvio Gutiérrez Pérez, director of agro-industry of the Ministry of Finance and Prices, Alexis Rodríguez, general director of economy of the Ministry of Agriculture, and Jorge Wilsy Carballo, official of the National Association of Small Farmers, as well as the main political and governmental authorities of the province.


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