Climate problems, lack of market and the elimination of the 'Certificado de Fomento de Agroexportaciones ' (Certificate for Development of Agroexports) have caused production to fall by 50%.
"Pineapple production has declined, even though it generates a larger amount of labor than grain production," said Ricardo Garcia, spokesman for producers of pineapple and cucurbits in Chiriqui, the Central Provinces and La Chorrera.
The benefits system which will replace the Export Promotion Certificates, will be extended to producers supplying export industries.
The measures which will replace the Export Promotion Certificates (CEFA)- use of which has to be eliminated as it is considered an export subsidies prohibited by the trade agreements signed by Panama - will be soft loans, productivity bonuses, loans with grace periods of several years, incentives for reforestation, for improving the working environment and / or food security, among other things.
As set out in the FTA with the U.S., Canada and the European Union, Panama has three months to remove or replace these incentives.
Authorities from the MICI, the Panama Exporters Association (APEX) and the Union of Agro export of non-traditional products (Gantrap) are preparing a proposal, which must first be approved by the Cabinet Council and later by the National Assembly.
The program for the Promotion of Export Competitiveness includes 66 new products such as farmed shrimp, sausages, fruit nectars and juices.
Law 82 of 31st December 2009 regulates the Certificates for Development of Agricultural Exports (CEFA in Spanish) and initially was limited to non-traditional agricultural exports, including about 230 products or their derivatives such as tomatos, salsa, yuca, squashes , palm oil, pepper, alcohol, meat, coconut, chicken, candy, jam, ginger, juice, marmalade, and milk, among other things.
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