Sep 09, 2015
TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS -- The Honduran Ministry of Agriculture (SAG) confirmed that an additional 25,000 MT of U.S. paddy rice will be imported duty free this calendar year, above the already fulfilled 2015 CAFTA-DR Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) amount of 108,000 MT for paddy rice.
As has happened in years prior, agribusiness and representatives of the Executive Directorate of Revenue (DEI), the Honduran Institute of Agricultural Marketing (IHMA), the Ministry of Economic Development (SDE), and the Institute National Agriculture (INA) met with the SAG last month. Based on “desabasto” or insufficient supply, they have requested the ability to import additional amounts of paddy rice. The additional quota is then allocated by the government, based on domestic production purchases.
“After listening to agribusinesses, which requested 44,000 MT, we reviewed local production projections and decided to approve 25,000 MT,” said Jacobo Paz, head of the SAG.
Honduras, slightly larger than Tennessee, is home to more than 8 million people. Annual rice consumption is as high as 770 million pounds, but with domestic production maxing out at 440 million pounds, the government here is forced to resort to import quotas to address the shortfall. This year’s El Niño drought has exacerbated the production situation, causing losses in crops including rice.