The Union of Production Guilds Paraguay Wednesday said it foresaw 2022 will be a tough year for the agricultural sector due to the current drought which will mean, among other setbacks, the worst soybean harvest in the last 25 years, or US $ 2 billion less to the country's economy.
Union of Production Guilds leader Héctor Cristaldo said that in December there was a rainfall deficit which was already beginning to be noticed. Based on that, the worst scenarios was projected, resembling that of 2012, with only 1,367 kilos of soybean per hectare harvested. Inin 2021, output stood at 2,800 kilos per hectare and that was already worrying, Cristaldo explained.
“Now that the harvest is advanced, 80% in the south, 70% in the center of the Eastern Region and 30% in the north, we are below that number and a harvest that is going to have a strong impact on the entire movement of foreign currency income for the country, more than US $ 2 billion which will impact logistics and the entire economy nationwide, Cristaldo added.
He also pointed out the same thing happened in 2012, a 52% drop in production, the worst harvest, this one will unfortunately surpass that one, but in 2013 Paraguay had a normal harvest and there was an extraordinary economic recovery,” Cristaldo said as he looked for the brightest side of the situation.
Paraguay's Central Bank has already taken measures to alleaviate the producers' plight by refinancing their debts so that they can go back to business as usual come September. Cristaldo also explained producers have been spared from advanced tax payments the sector is usually required to make, but he added he believed that such a system should not even exist because it implied profits nobody actually knew whether they would exist - there could be losses instead. It seems to me that this measure is a bit abusive, Cristaldo admitted as he called for these practices on the poart of the Government to disappear.
Small producers, some 43,000 families, are the most vulnerable sector and account for 23% of the country's soybean area. “A very difficult year is coming and we have to do things right,” Cristaldo insisted.
(Source: Ultima Hora)