Unable to compete with cheaper imports, in the last four years aquaculture production has dropped 31%, and the number of farmers has dropped from 1,241 in 2013 to 287 at the end of 2016.
Preliminary figures from a study by the Food and Agriculture Organization show that in 2012 production of species in water amounted to 27,879 tons, while the projection for the end of 2016 was 19,235 tonnes.
The FAO food price index rose slightly in March due to sharp increases in prices of sugar and palm oil.
From a press release by the Food and Agriculture Organization:
The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 151.0 points in March 2016, up 1.0 percent from February, but almost 21 points (12.0 percent) below its March 2015 level. The main feature last month was the strong rebound in sugar prices, which, combined with a further increase in vegetable oil quotations, more than offset a plunge in dairy values. International prices of the other commodities used in the calculation of the FFPI changed little.
Only fish consumption of Panamanians is above the world average, with 23 kilos per capita per year.
The growth of purchasing power and increased choice of seafood explain the increased consumption among Panamanians, which averages around 23 kilos a year. The increased purchasing power of Panamanians is added to the growing industrialization in fish production, which along with the increase in marketing channels, increases product availability and consumption.
On December 2nd business experts and industry representatives will meet to discuss issues such as illegal fishing and the national fisheries inspection plan.
From a statement issued by the MarViva Foundation:
Costa Rica will be receiving a visit from the international expert on illegal fishing and fishery enforcement, Alejandro Covarrubias, who will provide advice to prepare the National Fish Inspection Plan, promote actions and mechanisms to combat illegal fishing and strengthen capacities to implement the Agreement on Measures of the Port State Rector in the country.
A website is registering and maintaining information on the incidence of rust fungus and coffee berry borer in the region.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica:
As part of an Early Warning System for coffee rust, the FAO presents in Costa Rica "SATCAFÉ"; a website which will allow technicians, producers and any entity in the coffee sector (project participants), to access information regarding the incidence of coffee rust and coffee berry borer.
A new commission set up by the Ministry of Health will regulate advertising of tobacco and alcohol and will look at increasing taxes.
The National Commission for the Prevention of Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases and Cancer, established by the Ministry of Health and Welfare will be responsible for the regulation of advertising of snuff and alcohol and also promote the consumption of healthy foods.