In the difficult route to increase the sector's sales abroad, the country has so far managed to register 58% of the cattle herd.
The advanced comes after five years of efforts between the authorities and trade associations to have included in their records 22% of cattle farms in the country and 58% of cattle organizations, but industry representatives believe that there is still much to be done to meet the traceability requirements that are impeding the entry of Nicaraguan meat products into some markets, including the European Union (EU).
Purchase of equipment for quality testing and adjustments in health checks are part of the plan that Panama will implement in order to start exporting meat.
The Ministry of Agricultural Development's plan involves changes to the health system, incorporating new technology for quality controls.The aim is to deliver, in mid-2017, the equivalency questionnaire to the Food Safety Inspection Services at the US Department of Agriculture.
In 2015 the region as a whole imported $96 million worth of processed meat, led by El Salvador, which imported $25 million, followed by Guatemala with $22 million, and Honduras, with $16 million.
Figures onForeign Trade in Sausages Meat and Similar Products in Central America,analyzed by the Business Intelligence Unit at CentralAmericaData.com show that in 2015 the countries of Central America imported 33,528 tons of processed meat, equivalent to $96 million.
On December 10 and 11 producers of sheep and goat meat will be meeting in Atenas, Costa Rica, to discuss issues such as production management and use of technology.
On December 10 and 11 the Costarican Ovicaprina Environmentalist Association (ASOOVIAMCO) will be holding the Second National Congress of Producers of Goats and Sheep at the Headquarters of Atenas National Technical University (NTU-Atenas), an event which will bring together entrepreneurs from around the country and international speakers from the University of Chapingo, in Mexico.
Milk and meat producers have reported discrepancies between the prices paid by slaughterhouses and international market prices.
The Federation of Livestock in Nicaragua (Faganic), the National Union of Agricultural Producers in Nicaragua (UPANIC), and the Nicaraguan Chamber of the Milk Sector (CANISLAC) have reported that four slaughterhouses are distorting the local market by allegedly paying prices that are lower than international prices.
Increasing the percentage of deliveries and optimizing the use of fodder will help raise productivity and improve conditions for competing with other export markets.
A pilot plan which is being promoted by the Livestock Corporation (CORFOGA) and which is already being implemented in 93 producing farms aims to improve productivity in cattle breeding and milk in the country.
A study by Funides details the numbers for the sector and points to factors impeding further development such as low productivity due to lack of genetic development and mechanization, in addition to excessive dependence on climate.
According to the Nicaraguan Foundation for Social Development (Funides), the main challenges facing the livestock sector are low productivity, high dependence on climate, lack of genetic development, little mechanization, higher demands from international markets, sanitary barriers and those of neighboring countries, lack of public services and infrastructure and low industrialization.
It is estimated that in 2017 imports of meat and meat products from China will continue at high rates, due to lower levels of local production.
From a publication by Eurocarne:
The Department of Agriculture has drawn up one of its reports on forecasts for production and trade of meat and meat products in Japan.As indicated, in Japan there is still a reduction in the livestock censuses in the absence of generational change.Consumption also remains very stable.In light of this situation, the USDA estimates that in 2017 the situation seen in 2016 will will be repeated, that is to say there will be very high levels of imports.
Productivity of beef, pork and onions improved between May 2015 and April 2016, while projected goals were not achieved for rice, beans and white corn.
The goals set at the beginning of the Solis management to facilitate conditions for raising agricultural productivity have been met by half, since of the products identified as "sensitive" because of strong competition faced externally, only beef, pork and onions managed to exceed the targets set for the first year.
Concerns have arisen over a recent agreement signed between the US and Brazil, in which the South American country is allocated a significant quota from the same segment that Nicaragua supplies.
The new quota for imports of fresh beef from Brazil is considered to be in the same category as the quota that corresponds to Nicaragua, called "Other countries".Nicaraguan exporters fear that the quota, amounting to 65 thousand tons per year, will be filled by Brazil leaving no space for sales of meat from Nicaragua and other countries also included in this segment.
Under the terms of the Partial Scope Trade Agreement bovine and porcine meat from Panama will enter the Caribbean country duty-free.
Panamaamerica.com.pa reports that "...Panama received 51 additional lines in its favor which include dairy products such as cheese, a variety of fresh and frozen seafood, juices made from non-tropical fruits, flowers and foliage, fruit and vegetables, tropical fruits, flour, fat and fish oil, sausages, butter, fats, cocoa oil and salt. "