Panela producers ask government for bail out

Panela producers from the north east of Colombia say that the sugar
cane industry is under serious threat. They asked the Colombian
government for a bail out to save the cultivation of the crop that
employs 400,000 people in the region.

Deyanira Ardila
Gonzalez, a Santander union leader said that if the government does not step in to help, the industry may go under, Caracol Radio reported Tuesday.

She said that a boom in the cultivation of alcohol fuel crops damaged the industry. Families who used to cultivate sugar cane switched to alcohol fuel crops, so now there are now there aren’t enough people to harvest the sugar cane.

According to Gonzalez, if help doesn’t come soon, the traditional drink of aguapanela, made from sugarcane, may disappear off Colombian tables.

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