Jun 23, 2016
ENGLAND, AR – Representatives of Fedearroz, the rice producers’ association of Colombia, continued their U.S. visit yesterday with a visit to the rice farm of USA Rice Chairman Dow Brantley here.
Fedearroz’s Elkin Flores and José Barón were impressed by many aspects of Brantley’s large farming operation including corn, soybean, and rice fields.
“They were particularly impressed by the on-farm drying and storage capabilities we have,” Brantley said. “I get the sense these aren’t common in Colombia at all. And with their average farm size of 42 acres, and the vast majority being smaller than 24 acres, that’s understandable.”
In addition to the economy of scale advantage U.S. growers have, Flores and Barón also commented on the high interest rates Colombian farmers face – as much as three percent per month – and the lack of a government-sponsored safety net for farmers.
“I shared with them about my trip to Colombia earlier this month, and told them that USA Rice looks forward to working with them on the Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) for rice, and in particular to help them meet what appear to be significant domestic demands that are outside of the TRQ,” Brantley said.
The delegation also met with officials at the USDA NASS offices in Little Rock during the trip and will return to Colombia later this week.