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Fertilizer shortage will affect next rice harvest

Escasez de fertilizantes afectará próxima cosecha de arroz

The global shortage of fertilizers will have repercussions on the next rice harvest, which begins in December, and could lead to price increases for this and other agricultural items as of next year.

The statement was made by the president of the Association of Manufacturers, Representatives and Importers of Crop Protection Products (AFIPA), Manuel Suazo, who indicated that the situation is quite critical, especially for rice producers.

"This will affect from January onwards … In the next rice harvest, which now begins in December, definitely something will have to be done"Suazo explained by telephone to Listín Diario.

Suazo indicated that if the government does not take measures next year there could be supply problems and food security would be affected.

The president of AFIPA explained that although rice production is the one that would be most affected, because urea is used mainly in this crop, the shortage and rising prices of fertilizers also impact the cultivation of vegetables, plantains and bananas.

Suazo pointed out that although the highest increases have been registered in recent months, the increases have been taking place since last year and said they amount to 100% and 200%.

Agricultural specialist agronomist Manuel González Tejera (Manegonte) also explained that although this is a recent adversity, which is under development, it is a latent threat to agricultural production.

The expert agreed with Suazo n that this could have repercussions on the next rice harvest and on all crops that use compost or fertilizers, both granulated and soluble, that have been planted recently.

González stressed that this is a global event that right now represents a challenge for Brazil, Argentina, Australia and South Africa, which are in the sowing process.

Minister says there will be pressure on prices

Agriculture Minister Limber Cruz said the shortage of fertilizers will put pressure on food prices. At the same time, he announced that he is working to minimize the effects of this situation in the local market.

Cruz explained that the shortage is due to the approximately 26% increase in urea, which is one of the main fertilizers.

“At a global level there is a shortage of fertilizers; the 26% increase in urea, the basic input for the manufacture of fertilizers, causes this situation, which puts pressure on food prices. From Agriculture, we work with the producers to minimize their effects ”, the minister informed yesterday through a publication on his Twitter account.

Prices reach maximum levels

Since last month international media have reviewed the situation. On September 21, Bloomberg published an article stating that the prices of some fertilizers have reached their highest levels since the financial crisis and that this could cause increases in the price of food.

Reports from the specialized company DTN indicate that since mid-September the price of urea has increased by US $ 147 per ton (26%) and potash by US $ 112 (19%). The last time this latest fertilizer was so expensive was in 2009, according to DTN records. Others have registered increases from 11% to 16%.

World food prices

Last September the FAO food price index stood 1.2% more than in August and 32.8% more than in the same month last year. According to the agency, this rise was mainly due to the rise in price of most cereals and vegetable oils. Dairy and sugar prices also rose.

Local market prices

In the local market, the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 0.57%, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the Central Bank (BCRD).

Agricultural products

Among the products that increased the most in price last month were several agricultural products such as onion, garlic, rice, tomato, aubergine and green pigeon peas.

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