Country Policy Monitoring

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Main Food-related Policy Measures


(From 1 Jan 2008 to 11 Oct 2011)
   17 Jun 2011  Following farmers protests, new export tax system abolished and export taxes reverted to pre-March levels (35 percent on soybeans, 25 percent on maize and 28percent on wheat).
   22 Feb 2011  Authorization of an additional export quota of 1 million tonne of wheat and 7 million tonnes of maize
   15 Nov 2010  Authorization of an initial export quota of 5 million tonnes of the 2011 maize crop to be harvested from next March.
   18 Jun 2010  The Agriculture Ministry approved the export of a further 3million tons of maize from 2009/10 crop, taking the total volume permitted to 12.5m. Permits covering around one-third of the next wheat crop were expected to be announced shortly.
   12 May 2010  Subsidies to cattle feeds have been suspended.
   1 Oct 2009  Export taxes on the two commodities have been eliminated for small and medium-size farmers.
   1 Oct 2009  Grains exporters reached a new agreement with the Government by which wheat and maize export permits in 2009/10 will be granted to exportrs who commit to supplying the domestic market.
   16 Jun 2009  Grain exporters reached an agreement with the Government to purchase 1 milllion tonnes of wheat and 3 million tonnes of maize from producers at fixed prices ( in addition to 1 million tonnes of wheat announced in May). In return, exporters will obtain export licences for similar quantities.
   12 Feb 2009  Opening of the Maize Export Registry: an export quota of 6 million tonnes of maize has been authorized. In addition, an initial export quota of 520 000 tonnes is allowed.
   23 Dec 2008  Export taxes on grains decreased by 5 percent, to 23 percent for wheat and to 20 percent for maize.
   24 Nov 2008  Additional quota of 926 000 tonnes of wheat exports has been authorized.
   17 Sep 2008  Maize Export Registry is closed until February 2009, after export commitment reached the estimated surplus of this year's crop. (The registry could be re-opened if farmers marketed more maize)
   2 Jun 2008  Opening of the Wheat Export Registry. Monthly wheat export quotas set up at 0.9 million tonnes of wheat in July and at 1.44 million tonnes in August .
   21 May 2008  Despite the wheat export suspension a 100 000 tonnes quota to Brazil is allowed (not more than 2000 tonnes per day).
   21 Apr 2008  Suspension of wheat exports is further extended to prevent shortages in the domestic market.
   12 Mar 2008  New export tax system for grains and oilseed approved, linking rates to international prices. Export tax on soybean increased from 35 to 46 percent. For maize exports the tax decreased from 25 to 24 percent and for wheat from 28 to 27 percent.
   29 Feb 2008  The closure of the Wheat Export Registry, in place since November 2007, has been extended until April 21 2008.
   12 Jun 2008  Taxes removed on food imports.
   26 May 2008  Price of diesel reduced by BBD 0.47 per liter for Public Service Vehicles (PVS) and by BBD 0.27 per liter for fishing boat operators and registered farmers.
   26 May 2008  Price control removed on wholesale chicken.
   1 May 2008  The Barbados Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation to import chicken to the equivalent of 10 percent of domestic demand to ensure competitive prices for chicken.
   17 Jul 2008  Agricultural credit acces by farmers strenghtened.
   17 Jul 2008  Customs duties removed on animal feed and import tariff exemptions for agricultural machinery and tools.
   12 Jun 2008  Price control set for rice.
   1 May 2008  Input distribution to small farmers.
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
   19 Feb 2010  Ban on sugar export imposed.
   17 Feb 2010  Ban on maize and sorghum exports imposed.
   18 Jan 2010  Tariff elimination on wheat flour imports.
   4 Jan 2010  Allocation of USD 25 million to improve irrigation system and provide technology and technical assistance to small farmers (financial support of the Inter-American Development Bank)
   18 Mar 2009  Subsidies for small farmers to buy diesel up to 400 liters to boost production of basic grains. The measure is valid until 31 August 2009.
   15 Oct 2008  Maize export ban imposed in August 2007, has been lifted. Retsrictions on other food products will be progressively lifted, following a decline in food prices.
   28 May 2008  Export ban on soybean, sunflower oils and meat products to ensure domestic supplies. Export restrictions imposed on vegetable oil.
   1 May 2008  Subsidies for bread and wheat flour production.
   1 Feb 2008  Zero percent import tariff on several staple foods (wheat, wheat flour, maize, rice, fresh meat, chicken and live animals)
   23 Apr 2011  Temporary suspension of rice export to safeguard domestic supplies.
   8 Jan 2010  The Government has enacted the Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Law which includes a National Policy to provide support to smallholders farmers production.
   22 Oct 2009  Import licenses for wheat flour, wine, and oils from Argentina have been restricted to support the milling industry in the South of the country.
   31 Mar 2009  Subsidies on marketing and stocking of several food commodities (e.g. maize, wheat, milk) increased to reduce the impact of economic crisis on rural areas.
   29 Jan 2009  Extension of the social assistance programme from 11 million of households to 12.3 million by October 2009. The income ceiling for the eligible households raised from BRL 120 (USD 52) per person per month up to BRL 137 (USD 60) per person.
   1 Sep 2008  CONAB (Comapnhia National de Abastecimento) auctioned 60 000 tonnes of rice. This is the third release of cereals public stocks this year aiming to stabilize prices in the domestic market.
   1 Sep 2008  Reinforcement of safety nets programmes: the government will increase the value of transfers under the "Bolsa Familia" Programme (covering 11 million of households) by 8 percent.
   28 May 2008  New facilities on agricultural credits and minimum guaranteed prices on rice, beans, maize, wheat and cassava.
   1 May 2008  Taxes on wheat, wheat flour, and bread reduced. The policy measure will cost BRL 500 million (USD 301 million) in missed tax revenues until the end of 2008.
   1 May 2008  National Wheat Plan announced to increase production by 25 percent through the allocation of BRL 1.2 billion (USD 750 million) in agriculture credits for producers and the creation of a special credit line at interest rates of 6.7 percent a year.
   6 Feb 2008  A quota of 1 million tonnes of tariff-free wheat imports from non Mercosur countries has been allowed
   1 Jan 2008  Export of government-owned rice stocks suspended.
   25 Nov 2010  Value Added Tax (VAT) reductions on some agricultural products, targetting 70 000 small farmers, of which 50 000 wheat producers.
   13 Jan 2010  The Government has enacted the Environment Act (Ley de Medioambiente) to establish a new institutional framework aimed at supporting the sector and creating an ad hoc Ministry.
   1 Jan 2010  Reinforcement of the information system on wheat import prices from various origins. Support to the marketing of wheat from small producers, covering wheat storage cost and delivering credits until the time of sale.
   1 Jan 2010  With the support of the Government, the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation developed a CLP 1 thousand millions (USD 76 700 thousand) programme that will supply internet access to rural, low income and lack of services communities of Petorca, Catemu-Panquehue Peumo-Pichidegua, Nancagua - Placilla, Molina-Rio Claro, Sur Maule, Cloudy, and Pocoyo.
   25 Feb 2009  The Ministry of Agriculture will fully finance storage costs for small farmers and will cover 50 percent of the costs for medium farmers.
   12 Oct 2008  Introduction of special vouchers of CLP 90 000 (USD 145) to small farmers to buy inputs at subsidized prices as a production incentive, for a total cost of CLP 549 million (USD 241 million).
   26 Jan 2010  Facilitated loans for farmers for an amount of USD 3.2 trillion allocated under the Agricultural Credit Indicative Program 2010 (Crédito agropecuario para 2010).
   7 Dec 2009  The Government has established a price control system on all agrochemical inputs.
   18 Dec 2008  The Government authorized the import duty free of an additional 750 000 tonnes of yellow maize in 2009. Duty free yellow maize imports in 2009 amount so far at 3.05 million tonnes.
   15 Oct 2008  Credit for agriculture investment increased by 27.3 percent over the same period last year (2007).
Costa Rica
   28 May 2008  A monthly cash transfer of USD 96 will be distribute to 16000 low income women with children less than 12 years old.
   1 May 2008  Price controls on basic food stuff.
Dominican Republic
   30 Jan 2009  Support to small and medium farmers through credit facilities, seed distribution, and provision of technical assistance in order to improve production practices.
   7 Nov 2008  Support to the bean production in the major growing areas.
   31 Oct 2008  Reinforcement of the national seed distribution programme and improvement of roads and irrigation infrastructures.
   31 Oct 2008  Social assistance scheme launched for the Christmas period, valued DOP 1 billion (USD 2.8 million), to assist one million households with food, household appliances and other tools.
   1 May 2008  The Programme Solidarity doubled the number of beneficiaries (up to 800 000 people) raising also the value of the food vouchers by 27 percent.
   1 May 2008  Inputs and machinery distribution to small farmers (tractor, seeds).
   1 May 2008  Minimum support price for milk set at DOP 3 (USD 0.08) per liter as incentive to milk producers.
   1 May 2008  Agreement between government, traders and supermarkets on the price levels of the basic food basket.
   1 May 2008  The Government expanded food subsidies by sellig a USD 3 food package including a chicken, potatoes and onions at 30% below supermarket price. An estimated 20,000 of the packets are being sold daily.
   1 May 2008  Seed supply and tax reduction to boost production of short-cycle food crops.
   29 Jun 2010  Extension of the temporary tariff elimination on import for another 12 months.
   1 Jan 2010  Increase of USD 22 in the unified basic salary: the basic wage is set at USD 240 in urban and rural areas.
   1 Jan 2010  Extension of subsidies on fertilizers imports to reduce input prices. Import target set at 250 000 tonnes of urea by the end of 2010, with an investment of USD 25 million.
   20 Oct 2009  Temporary import tariff elimation for wheat, meslin and flour made thereof for a period of 12 months.
   19 Mar 2009  Ban on rice exports lifted.
   14 Mar 2009  Government decree for the regularization of fertilizers prices to avoid speculation by intermediaries.
   2 Oct 2008  The subsidy on imported wheat flour will be removed from January 2009, after having been gradually reduced since October 2008.
   18 Jul 2008  The Government fixed the subsidy on imported wheat flour at USD 7.5 per 50 kg in order to limit bread prices. The measure will last three months.
   6 Jun 2008  Ban on rice exports (except from 20 000 tonnes to Venezuela).
   1 Jun 2008  Facilitation of procedures to obtain agricultural input subsidies (compensation for input purchasing in a range of USD 80-240).
   1 May 2008  Import tariffs reduced for wheat and wheat flour.
   1 May 2008  The maximum selling price of milk will be temporarily controlled.
El Salvador
   1 May 2008  Increase of the income tax deductions.
   1 May 2008  Extension and reinforcement of the social programme (Red Solidaria) to assist vulnerable huseholds (education, health&sanitation, nutrition).
   1 May 2008  Reinforcement of measures to avoid speculation on food prices by traders.
   1 May 2008  Subsidies increased on water, electricity, gas and transport.
   1 May 2008  National seed distribution programme reinforced.
   1 May 2008  Distribution of 40 000 metallic silos to farmers.
   21 Feb 2008  Import tariff on wheat flour suspended until the end of the year (measure taken under the Joint Agreement between El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras)
   25 Jan 2010  Allocation of USD 903 000 for water system construction, which will benefit more than 4 000 people.
   25 Jan 2010  Increase of USD 0.50 on minimum daily wage that will allow, for the first time, the minimum wage to reach the value of the basic food basket.
   20 Apr 2009  Launch of the Fertilizer Programme to boost basic grain production by distributing fertilizers vouchers to more than 700 000 small farmers.
   28 May 2008  Reinforecement of programmes aiming to increase cultivated land.
   1 May 2008  Import tariffs eliminated on powdered milk, yellow corn, eggs, maize flour, vegetable oil, chicken, rice and fertilizers.
   21 Feb 2008  Import tariff on wheat flour suspended until the end of the year (measure taken under the Joint Agreement between El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras)
   8 May 2008  Fuel tax reduced from 50 percent to 17 percent on gasoline and from 25 percent to 0 percent on diesel.
   1 May 2008  Negotiations with importers on food commodities price increases.
   1 May 2008  Allocation of some GUY$20 million (US$98,936) for the distribution of approximately 600,000 packages of seeds, fertilisers and pesticides across the country with the aim of increasing food production on a large scale as well as at the household level.
   1 May 2008  Pensions of elderly increased by 63 percent from GYD 3 575 (USD 17.6) to GYD 6 000 (USD 29.5) per month.
   1 May 2008  Increase of civil servants salary by 5 percent, with a measure retroactive to January 2008.
   1 May 2008  Introduction of flour subsidies.
   1 May 2008  Resources allocated to Public Assistance programme to vulnerable groups increased by 82 percent.
   1 May 2008  VAT reduced on some food items.
   31 Jan 2009  The Government announced short-term measures to support production, including maize and beans seeds distribution.
   1 May 2008  The Agricultural National Bank of Development granted financial support and input vouchers to smallholder farmers for basic grains production.
   26 Apr 2008  Subsidies introduced on imported rice to reduce the price of a 50 kg bag by 15 percent.
   25 Feb 2010  The Solidarity Bonus Production (BSP) programme was launched in the city of Juticalpa. About 7000 producers in Atlantic Coast, North, Northeast and Central Eastern regions will receive 23 kg of been seeds and 46 kg of fertilizer. The cost of the programme is HNL 10.2 million (USD 539 million).
   8 Oct 2008  Beans and maize export ban lifted.
   2 Oct 2008  The Technological Productive Voucher (BTP) reactivated to encourage counter- season cultivation.
   13 Aug 2008  Minimum civil servants salary increased to HNL 5 500 (USD 291).
   1 May 2008  Improvements of basic grains storage capacity.
   1 May 2008  Relase of 2 300 tonnes of maize and 2 700 tonnes of red beans from federal reserves, in order to stabilize prices.
   1 May 2008  A public price monitoring system has been set up.
   1 May 2008  The Government will allocated HNL 400 000 000 (USD 21 175 225) in credit facilities, with 3.5 percent interest rate, to finance irrigation projects throughout a period 10 years.
   21 Feb 2008  Import tariff on wheat flour suspended until the end of the year (measure taken under the Joint Agreement between El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras)
   4 Oct 2008  Support to increase food production, particularly root and tubers, small-scale rice and grrenhouse cultivation.
   10 Jul 2008  Allocation of JMD 50 million (USD 694 540) for subsidies to fertilizers in order to reduce their prices.
   22 Dec 2010  Purchase of maize in futures market to alleviate the impact of increases in maize prices on basic staple “tortilla”.
   12 Jul 2010  The Government has set 684 branches, advised by 4 consulting firms, to facilitate access to credit of rural communities. Domestic producers in agricultural areas, livestock and fisheries with less than 15 000 inhabitants will have access to comprehensive financial services.
   1 Jan 2010  Allocation of MXN 254 million (USD 19 482 275) for 2010 to support agriculture and implement irrigation systems in more than 3 000 hectares for the planting of sorghum, soybeans and wheat.
   12 Aug 2008  The private sector agreed with government to freeze prices of about 150 food items until the end of 2008.
   12 Aug 2008  The Food Support Programme for Priority Attention Zones (PAAZA) was launched: it aims at improving nutrition in marginalized areas through cash transfer and food supplements.
   26 May 2008  An import quota of 100 000 tonnes of beans is allowed duty free.
   25 May 2008  Import tariffs removed on wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, and fertilizers.
   1 May 2008  Import tax on powdered milk reduced by half.
   1 May 2008  The Government of Mexico rose the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) budget from MXN 39 billion (USD 3.7 billion) in 2007, to MXN 42 billion (USD 4 billion), in 2008.
   1 Oct 2008  Special credit programme launched to support farmers.
   1 Oct 2008  Productive vouchers (Bono Productivo)distributed in Managua Department.
   1 Oct 2008  Import tariff on beans removed and import tariffs on vegetable oils reduced to zero or 5 percent.
   1 May 2008  The Production Bonus (Bono Productivo) programme to support poorest farmers' production through subsidized agricultural inputs will continue for the next four years with a budget of USD 20 million.
   1 May 2008  Micro credit to 14 000 small producers of beans and maize for the 2010 "Apante" planting season (November-December) will be provided with a budget of USD 2 million.
   21 Feb 2008  Import tariff on wheat flour suspended until the end of the year (measure taken under the Joint Agreement between El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras)
   25 Mar 2009  The public bank Banco de Desarrollo Agropecuario (BDA) will supply about USD 10 million to finance rice production.
   20 Jun 2008  Purchase of the total paddy rice production by the Government to sell it to consumers at subsidized prices.
   28 May 2008  Food and fuel subsidies.
   28 May 2008  Distribution of seeds (rice, corn, beans) and agricultural inputs to farmers.
   28 May 2008  The Panama National Bank applied an interest rate of about 2 percent for loans of up to USD 200 for producers rice, corn, milk, beans, and chicken, pork and beef. It also established a fund to guarantee 100% of the loan for farmers organized into groups and 80% of the loan for single producers.
   28 May 2008  Import tariff eliminated on basic food.
   28 May 2008  Income tax exemptions increased.
   1 May 2008  Increase of production subsidies for rice cultivation.
   4 Oct 2008  Input vouchers distributed to producers under the SIGEST System (Sistema Integrado de Gestion para el Desarrollo Agrario y Rural)
   9 Feb 2011  Import tariff removed on some food products including maize and rice, in order to stabilize food prices.
   24 Oct 2008  Agrobanco will receive PEN 50 millions (USD 16 million) from the Ministry of Agriculture to partially cover farmers' debts up PEN 10 000 (USD 3 245) for debts not exceeding PEN 30 000 (USD 9 740).
   24 Oct 2008  Import tariff on wheat reduced from 17 percent to zero and for rice from 25 percent to 9 percent.
   1 Apr 2008  Distribution of three-months food packages to 100 000 poor families in Lima.
Saint Lucia
   5 Jun 2008  Price control system set up .
   12 Jun 2008  The Governmentwill collaborate with private sector to re-start cultivation of over 10 000 hectares rice fields in rice growing districts.
   1 May 2008  Reduction of taxes on flour and sugar (with revenues losses estimated at around USD 7 million per year).
   1 May 2008  Allocation of USD 20 million for social safety net programmes.
Trinidad and Tobago
   22 May 2008  Distribution of 100 000 vegetables and legumes seeds vouchers.
   15 May 2008  An Electronic Marketing Information Board is launched to share information on retail and wholesale prices in regional markets.
   1 May 2008  Implementation of programmes to increase production of small farmers, as well ascorporate production farms.
   1 Mar 2008  The Common External Tariff on imports of 34 products has been suspended for a 2 year period up to March 2010 (measure taken by Carribean Community-CARICOM).
   19 Feb 2009  Provision of concesionary loans (partially reimbursable) for a period of 90 days to small producers of milk and cheese affected by drought.
   17 Feb 2009  VAT on imported fruits and vegetables suspended until May 31, 2009 to guarantee adequate domestic supply.
   9 Feb 2009  Import tariff on animal feed suspended for 90 days with the option of a 90 days extension.
   1 May 2008  Milk price fixing policy is maintened for consumers, suspended for producers (only retail prices are controlled).
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
   1 May 2011  Producer support price increased by 30 percent for maize, rice and soyabeans.
   8 Jan 2010  New exchange rates fixed: 2.6 BEV/USD for essential goods, as food import, and 4.3 BEV/USD for non essential goods and other goods/services not categorized as luxury items. These rates imply devaluation respectively of 20 and 100 percent from the 2.14 BEV/USD fixed in 2003.
   8 Jan 2010  Price control system on food products has been enforced.
   31 Dec 2009  Wholesale and retail sales of basic food at subsidized prices through the MERCAL programme.
   3 Mar 2009  The Government fixed the minimum and mandatory production share to be sold at controlled prices: 80 percent for rice, 95 percent for vegetable oil, sugar, coffee, cheese, and tomato sauce, 90 percent for white maize flour and pasteurized milk and 70 percent for pasta.



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