Panama

GIEWS Country Brief: Panama 25-May-2020

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Favourable production prospects for 2020 main season crops

  • Cereal imports anticipated to remain high in 2019/20 marketing year

  • Prices of beans increasing seasonally in April

Favourable production prospects for 2020 main season crops

Planting of the 2020 predominantly rainfed main season paddy crop is ongoing. After the drier-than-normal weather conditions in April, precipitation improved since mid-May and planted area is forecast at an average level due to the governmental subsidies paid to farmers to increase farm income. Precipitation is forecast at an average level for the June-August period across the key producing western and central areas, bolstering prospects for crop yields.
Planting of the 2020 minor season maize crop is also underway, supported by adequate precipitation in the main producing departments of Los Santos and Herrera. Plantings are forecast to increase slightly from last year’s low levels, prompted by a series of measures implemented by the Government to promote maize sowings that have been declining during the past ten years. In December 2019, the milling industry agreed to purchase 78 000 tonnes of locally produced maize (about 70 percent of the annual production) from January to April 2020. The Government approved the payment of subsidies to farmers who will receive USD 3 per each 1 Spanish quintal (46 kg) harvested in 2020. In order to support vulnerable producers and boost their production, the Government also distributed rice and maize seeds and inputs (fungicides, insecticides and tools) under the Agro Vida programme to smallholder farmers identified as the population in poverty.

Cereal imports anticipated to remain high in 2019/20 marketing year

Cereal import requirements in the 2019/20 marketing year (September/August) are anticipated at about 760 000 tonnes, 7 percent above the previous five-year average due to a sustained demand of yellow maize by the local feed industry and of wheat for human consumption.