After meeting with coffee farmer representatives, the Colombian government on Wednesday agreed to keep giving subsidies to coffee farmers amidst a hostile price environment, but many farmers have claimed the subsidy is still too low.
Colombia’s Income Support Fund (AIC) was extended and will help cure the harsh effects of the country’s currency revalution and falling international coffee prices, reported local media. The subsidy will continue to be $33 per 125 kilos of coffee (approximately 275 pounds).
The subsidy measure was set up in late 2012 in order to compensate losses incurred by farmers whose costs of production grossly outweighed their income. Multiple coffee growers on Wednesday told Colombia Reports that they make $282 for every sack of coffee produced but the costs of producing are equivalent to $366, so even with the government’s $33 subsidy, farmers are still under water.
Colombia’s National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) recently requested that the support fund be extended beyond its scheduled expiration date.
“The extension of the [AIC] is urgent and absolutely necessary,” said Luis Genaro Muñoz, the manager of the FNC.
According to reports, tens of thousands of coffee growers have planned a massive strike for February 25th in case the government does not address their plight. The strike, coffee growers have promised, would block roads across Colombia.