Bolivian thoughts opinion: To begin with, in Bolivia we tend to use the words chestnut, brazilian nut and almonds as if they were synonyms, nothing could be more misleading. Bolivia is the largest producer of what is known as brazilian nuts.
I believe that this populist government has finally understood what is the problem when you try to intervene a market, in this case, they had to revert their initial intention to control the processing and marketing of the brazilian nuts that primarily come from Pando Department.
The problem this central government had to face was a large group of farmers that can go out and blockade roads, something that a middle/large producer does not do, as it is the case for the soy producers, for example. This demagogue government imposed quotas on our soy, sugar exports … and when they tried the same intervention with this product, they confronted riots and blockades … it looks as anarchy, you do as you please, you can blockade better if you are further apart from main roads and cities …
This government needs to win elections in Pando, to secure senators and congressmen … that is the main reason why they need the votes of these farmers’ group … this ruling ochlocracy talks on behalf of the free market only when it is convenient for their political wishes, nothing more.
El Diario reports:
There are road blockades in Pando
Government leaves Brazil-nut prices to the free market
The Minister of Rural Development, César Cocarico, said that the government will not intervene in the setting of brasil-nut [chestnut] prices in the northwest of the country and maintained that it is the collectors themselves and the processing companies who must establish the values of purchase and sale of the product.
Meanwhile, peasants have maintained several blocking points in the department of Pando since last week, in demand that a fair price be set for the chestnut, reported Frontera radio from ERBOL network.
Among the points that are blocked are the road to Porvenir, the road that goes to Peru and the one that connects to Puerto Rico.
According to the local radio station, the farmers demand that the price of the chestnut be 300 bolivianos in box and 900 bolivianos in barrels.
In the last five years, 825 million dollars have been exported, due to the sale of 123 thousand tons of the also known as the “Brazil Nut”. In the third quarter of 2017, 156 million US dollars were sold abroad, 14% more compared to the same period of 2016.
Minister Cocarico explained that it was not advisable to participate in the negotiations because of the foreseeable future of the nut that could harm the producer, if the almond rises in price. In the last 5 years, 825 million dollars have been exported, due to the sale of 123 thousand tons. In the third quarter of 2017, 156 million US dollars were sold abroad, 14% more than in the same period of 2016, reported the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (Ibce).
Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom concentrate about 70 percent of exports of the Amazonian product. Worldwide, the United States leads the purchases of chestnuts.