Colombian coffee production will experience a sharp fall in the second half of the year, hurting the possibility of growth in the agricultural sector, said the agriculture minister on Thursday.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Juan Camilo Restrepo Salazar gave this warning at an agricultural conference at the Agrarian University in Bogota.
In comparison with the second half of 2010 , there will be a drop of 25%-30% for the second half of this year, as a result of the winter rains and the fungus roya.
However, the minister went onto say that the agricultural sector expects to see a 3% increase in GDP by the end of the year.
Restrepo Salazar said that the winter rains did not affect the supply of food, and for this reason Colombia will not face the risk of a food shortage. He added that the winter rains will not cause food prices to shoot up, nor will they cause the central bank’s inflation target range of 2%-4% to go off-track.
The minister also spoke of the need to increase the availability of land for food cultivation, strengthen food security, and making Colombia one of the food baskets of the world.
He emphasized the potential and opportunities for environmentally cautious development that the High Plains and the Orinoco regions offer.
He also said that the country could triple or quadruple the area dedicated to agriculture, which today stands at 12 million acres, without having to cut down a single tree.
The minister ended by saying that “[We] must grow in agriculture and fisheries so that Colombia prepares itself and advances to be a pantry for a hyungry world.”