Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora
Panama could become an important agro-industrial center in the region driven by the privileged geographical position of the country, thus attract more investment, and businesses, achieving self-sufficiency and catapult himself as a major exporter.
They realize that success Alan Winstead Simply Natura Farms, Dairy CEO Hacienda Santa Monica, Juan Manuel Henriquez, and marketing manager for Agrosilos, Lorenzo Garland, whose testimonies confirm the advantages offered by the country for the sector.
These companies have developed ways to consolidate businesses that have overcome some paradigms related to technology, value chain and competitiveness as was exposed during his participation in the New panel businesses associated with the Agribusiness during the Business Summit organized by the Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP).
During the panel discussion moderated by an expert in Public Policy Consulting Firm ITAS, Leroy Sheffer, representatives of the companies agreed that the country has a high potential to export agricultural products to international markets.
But nevertheless, They consider that to achieve this requires addressing obstacles such as lack of modernization processes, improve skilled labor and refocusing subsidies, also work more on domestic support productivity and to modernize production.
Simply executive Natura Farms, Alain Winstead, a company dedicated to planting fruit to open skies, fruit and vegetables in greenhouses, He recalled that all the potential of its market Panama goes beyond the capital, and could spread to Canada and Europe.
"We are talking about 500 millions of people who can leverage through competitive advantages of Panama, that has Peru, Chile, Colombia and even Mexico, which it is the logistics hub ", said Winstead.
Another advantage that the sector can leverage its geographical location is the "hub" logistical Panama with the advantage that "can bring a container to New York 3,500 Mexico dollars and cost you 7,500 Dollars", said Winstead.
Meanwhile, It Girlando of Agrosilos indicated that in the case of rice, Panama can not only supply the domestic consumption, but between five and seven years to have a vision of exporting to other countries, to do so must look beyond the current situation of the agricultural sector.
In that context, Panama should work harder to achieve short-term self-sufficiency and the subsequent increase in exports, said executive Agrosilos, an agroindustrial complex next-generation green technology, for the receipt, conditioning, storage, processing and distribution of grains.
Around the subsidy system, companies agreed that it was not a decisive element in their investment plans, at the same time they recommended to be focused on addressing issues of productivity.
"I feel that these incentives if they are to be distributed in a better way, they are really focused on productivity rather than on controlling the market, "he explained his side, the manager of the Dairy Santa Monica, Juan Manuel Henriquez
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Agricultural Development of Panama, Carlos Rognoni, cited among the benefits of the internal market for agricultural products high purchasing power, and the use of the dollar as currency.
Rognoni says that develop the sector is vital, and it will also have a social impact on the 40% of the population of the interior and 15% the labor of the agricultural sector that care must be taken to ensure social peace.
It says the government will support the sector and work to improve education through schemes such as the possible conversion of the National Institute of Agriculture (INA) in a cluster of education aimed at students and producers.