El Deber, Henrry Ugarte report about cotton and other agricultural produce:
The chart: Evolution of the cotton production; the first chart refers to planted area; second is for production; below the yield and base price graphs. Figures are from 1999 to 2009.
It is still far away the possibility to match the glorious times as 1975 or 1998 when there were 50,000 hectares planted; but the 15,000 that are projected this year mark the upturn in the cotton sector and producers are hopeful to take off the third profitable season.
Good international prices have an impact along with favorable weather conditions; producers are reinvigorated and return to believe on cotton.
Ciro Montaño, renowned cotton producer and executive of the National Association of Cotton Producers (ADEPA), recalled that in 1998, it was the last time that this sector reached the 50,000 hectares and in 2009 fell almost to zero.
However, according to the conclusion of the last meeting of producers unveiled by the President of ADEPA, David Orellana, 2010 uprooted again with 4,500 hectares and this year reached already the 15,000.
In order to grow the crops of this product, cotton seed had to be imported from Brazil.
Mid-90s cotton prices ranged from $42 to $45 dollars the quintal. While the profit margin was good for the producers because the performance was from 12 to 15 quintals per hectare and inputs were low as well as the labour force, then it collapsed due to several factors.
80% of the 4,500 hectares of cotton fiber harvested last year were sold to various industries, while the rest was marketed in the Peruvian market. The last economic reference of the fiber of cotton on the international markets is $150 the quintal.
The general manager of the East Agricultural Chamber (CAO), Edilberto Osinaga, believes that the cotton sector was one of the hardest hit in recent years, due to various circumstances, but again today there is an opportunity to pick up, mainly due to good international prices.
The area East and South of Pailon, as well as from kilometer 50 on the road to Abapó, these are two sites which since November have planted most of the product. If the rhythm of the rain continues, the cotton expect to reap in March 2012.
Oilseeds. Producers of soybeans and sunflower already began to grow in the North and East areas, where they lost the first rains of the season in early November.
Rice. It is vital for the rice producers that they are authorized to export excess grain because the tanks are full and the domestic market is saturated. They are going for 100,000 hectares.
Corn. Intensive planting is from December 15 to January 31. Corn growers from the South, from the road to Abapó, Charagua through Boyuibe, are on the lookout.
So, all things held constant, that is a government allowing exports and with good weather, Santa Cruz will continue to feed Bolivia and export renewable products.