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Why Costa Rica farmers are going out of business?

The National Chamber of Agriculture and Agribusiness (CNAA) of Costa Rica reported monthly losses of $1,000,000 for the agricultural sector due to problems at the Caldera port on the Pacific coast.

The CNAA reported uncertainty surrounding the administration and operation of the Caldera port, as the fourth position of the dock, designated for bulk shipments, is being utilized to unload other product types, disrupting the flow of goods nationwide.

In addition, the restrictions established for navigation through the Panama Canal, due to low water levels resulting from the intense drought, have been causing prolonged delays and significant increases in maritime freight rates, which make the import of grains, raw materials, and inputs necessary for agricultural production in the country more expensive.

“As a chamber, head of the agricultural sector, we are extremely concerned about the situation. Our associates report major negative impacts, such as delays in the importation of products, increased costs, both in freight and goods. As a consequence, we have had to increase inventories, generating higher operating and investment expenses, in addition to facing economic fines due to delays in the delivery of goods,” the Chamber stated.

Ivannia Quesada, interim president of the CNAA, stated that the situation of Puerto Caldera is really worrisome since the dock has reached its maximum occupancy for months.

“It is a situation that directly affects the agricultural sector, hitting it economically at a time when the exchange rate, climatic phenomena, among other situations, have caused a great affectation in the productive sector of the country. Therefore, from the CNAA, we hope that the intervention announced by the government authorities is given as soon as possible in order to alleviate one of the major problems facing the sector at this time,” he said.

The vice-president of the CNAA, Óscar Arias, assured that the situation in the port of Caldera not only increases the costs of the companies but also puts at risk the fulfillment of contracts.

“The collapse of Caldera not only affects operational efficiency but also has direct consequences on the competitiveness of the domestic market and exports due to the increase in the price of goods,” he concluded.

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