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Shortfall of Milk in Panama

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My commentary here: my initial reaction when reading this article was "you gotta be kidding". But alas, it appears that they are serious. If I am reading this correctly, Panama produces approximately only 50% of the milk that it consumes. Wow.



Milk Shortage in Panama

The annual shortfall of milk in the country, where local production only reaches 200 million, has been estimated at 100 million liters.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Local producers of milk and meat argue that one of the main reasons is the fact that not all of the dairy herd is currently producing, because ".... during the recent dry season many cows were sold". However, there are more fundamental reasons that explain the shortfall in a country that consumes 300 million liters of milk every year.

Prensa.com reports that "... Ranchers are warning there is a need to make timely decisions so that the livestock sector does not go back to recording losses economically or in terms of animals. Investment in irrigation, promoting sustainable livestock and supporting producers with agricultural loans which do not have high interest rates, are some of the measures demanded by local farmers to promote the sector."

"... ' It is essential to invest in a quality irrigation system and also support livestock producers with loans that benefit rather than harm them," said Luis Martinez, producer of meat and milk from the Azuero region."


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A bit more research turns up an article from June 2015 (see below link) that says Panama produces only 46% of its milk. The remainder has to be imported. 

One reason given for the shortfall is lack of good water. The cows have less water to drink.

I also read that Panama implemented a milk production subsidy of $0.10 per liter of milk produced. That subsidy began in September 2015 and is scheduled to terminate in December 2016.

For more details, visit http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/Will_Panama_Have_to_Import_More_Milk

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Going further back in history, I find the production costs for milk in Chiriqui Province for year 2012 to be $0.51/liter, whereas the milk producer was paid only $0.49/liter. Wouldn't free enterprise principles fix this unsustainable imbalance without governmental intervention? Am I missing the big picture here?

For more background info, see: http://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/Milk_Producers_Demand_Better_Prices


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Good suggestion, Keith. I frequently see Price in one of my regular gatherings, and will ask him the next time I see him. He is a CL member but doesn't check in frequently. I'll ask him to put his thoughts regarding the milk industry here on CL.

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