Coffee: Law Reform Moves Forward, Despite Opposition

Although several sectors disapprove of the initiative, in Nicaragua the Legislative Commission in charge of the reform endorsed the bill that seeks to remove the power of businessmen to propose their representatives to the Coffee Commission.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

On August 14, the Production and Economy Commission of the National Assembly ruled positively on the initiative presented by President Ortega to modify the Law for the Transformation and Development of Coffee Farming.

The fact that the Members of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep) do not have the power to propose their representatives to the National Commission for the Transformation and Development of Coffee Culture (Conatradec) is one of the most important changes contemplated by this project.

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Despite the general rejection of the private sector, the project continues to move forward. Azucena Castillo, a member of the Production and Economy Commission, told Elnuevodiario.com.ni that "... In the process of consultations to dictate this reform, proposed by the Presidency of the Republic, finally the associations of coffee growers of the north of the country did not participate, only the cooperatives of the producers related to the Government."

Castillo added that "... We do not agree with a partition that has arisen and was seen in the consultation process that is biased towards those sympathizers (of the Government) in the cooperatives. We respect and appreciate cooperative producers, we also support small producers who have an average yield of 8 quintals per apple, but it was important to value the appreciations of non-cooperative coffee growers."

The current law requires that Conatradec must be composed of nine representatives from the private sector, all proposed by the same producers or businessmen. But if the changes are approved, the President of the Republic would have the power to appoint them directly, without taking into account the proposals of private guilds.

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The Nicaraguan government seeks to deprive the business sector of the power to propose its representatives to the National Commission for the Transformation and Development of Coffee Farming.

President Daniel Ortega presented an initiative to the National Assembly to modify the Law for the Transformation and Development of Coffee Farming, which among the changes includes that the Members of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep) do not have the power to propose their representatives to the National Commission for the Transformation and Development of Coffee Farming (Conatradec).

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