Colombia’s coffee producers are asking the government to allocate $530 million of subsidy payments for 2014 as part of the country’s Income Protection scheme for Coffee (PIC).
During a special committee meeting on Monday, the president of the Committee of Coffee Growers of Caldas, Marcelo Salazar Velasquez, said that he wants the government to focus on regenerating the strength of the coffee sector.
Salazar said that the money is required in order to meet the production target in the next term of at least 11 million bags of coffee.
He also called on the government to address the issue of fraud in the payment from the PIC. Fraud has become a particularly serious issue with more than 20 complaints having been brought before the authorities concerning payments made by the PIC, amounting to around $35 million in losses.
The head of the National Coffee Growers Federation, Luis Genaro Muñoz, said last week: “The situation is critical and to date there have been 20,000 reported cases of suspected fraud. In the coffee special committee on Monday we will take the necessary corrective measures to ensure that aid gets to the growers of the country.”
- Cafeteros pedirán al Gobierno $1 billón para pago de subsidios en 2014 (Caracol Radio)
- Café: $66 mil millones de pérdidas (El Nuevo Siglo)