Rice in Costa Rica: A Sweet Deal

In the past four years, the number of farmers engaged in rice production increased from 743 to 1,200, drawn by a fixed price system which in 2011 was covered by a subsidy amounting to $104 million.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The recent judgment by the Administrative Court annulling a presidential decree and ordering an increase in the price of a 73 kilo bag of rice to almost $49, confirms the wisdom of farmers who switched to growing the grain, confident that the subsidy levels would continue at astonishing levels, despite protests from other countries, the opinion of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and consumers of a product based on the local food basket, who pay one of the highest prices in the world for rice.

An article in Elfinancierocr.com states that "Despite the problems faced by producers to sell rice in the domestic market, more and more farmers are planting the grain. From 2008 to 2012 the number doubled, going from 743 to 1,200. The mobilization of this activity is mainly due to the price having been set by decree, so from the beginning they are certain of how much they will be paid for the grain. "

"The Board of Directors of the National Rice Corporation (CONARROZ) decided to decrease the planting area, but Mayi Antillon, Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce, expressed her concern that the new price could be attractive and would motivate the planting of even more rice. In addition to this situation, in 2011 triple the amount was imported than in 2010, increasing supply in a market in which it is already difficult to place domestic grain. "

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Costa Rica to Eliminate Rice Subsidy in 2014

June 2013

The Costa Rican government has informed the WTO that from March next year it will cease the pricing system by which domestic rice producers are subsidized.

From 1st March 2014 rice subsidies will be removed, which could end the dispute with the U.S. and other WTO members on account of aid given to rice farmers.

Costa Rica: $104 million in Rice Subsidies in 2011

May 2012

In the last 5 years the pricing system in force has transferred more than $390 million from the pockets of consumers to rice producers.

A statement of the Ministry of Commerce reads:

Rice sector subsidies in excess of $100 million for the second year

San Jose, May 8th, 2012.

Costa Rica: Milled Rice Imports Triple

February 2012

The increase in the price of local milled rice in 2011, has boosted imports.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) as of September 2011 a total of 17,000 metric tons had been imported. "In the next three months of this year, imports could have tripled the 62,000 metric tons of 2010", reported Elfinancierocr.com

Precautionary Measures on Rice Imports Rejected

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The Costa Rican Administrative Court has rejected rice farmers’ request for precautionary measures on October's rice imports.

The request asked to deny entry authorization to 350,000 kilos of husked rice from Argentina, on the basis that it did not comply with the rule that stipulates that rice must be fortified in its country of origin.