From Nicaragua Network Hotline 09.06.09
Two hundred and fifty small farmers in the Department of Carazo planted 870 acres of black beans, all for export to Venezuela, and the national cattle industry will export 1,100 head of cattle there as well this month, part of the Ortega government’s efforts to find new markets under the Bolivarian Alternative for Our Americas (ALBA) cooperative fair trade agreement. The black beans were planted under contract with Nicaragua Food, Inc. (ALBALINISA), which made a commitment to purchase all that was produced. The cattle shipment was part of an agreement to export 5,500 head to Venezuela.
Small farmers received 80 pounds of seed and 200 pounds of fertilizer and technical assistance which enabled them to produce 1,437 pounds of beans per acre cultivated. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAGFOR) now plans to expand the program to 17,400 acres, all for export under ALBA to Venezuela.
Nicaragua’s cattle industry has generated US$11 million under ALBA, according to National Assembly Deputy Douglas Aleman. That is expected to rise by the end of the year. Aleman also said that 6,000 tons of beef will be shipped to Venezuela in July as part of the ALBA agreements. He said that he expected that in the coming weeks a second accord will be signed to raise the amount of beef exported to Venezuela to 12,000 tons.
Aleman also said during a celebration of International Milk Day and the Week of the Child, that the proposed Law for the Promotion of the Dairy Sector will, among other things, establish that all children under 12 years old should have a glass of milk a day in school. Promoted by the dairy industry and the government, the law is expected to easily pass the National Assembly.