Colombian Agriculture Minister Andres Arias said that 25 billion pesos (some 14.7 million U.S. dollars) will be earmarked to maintain the food price. “We are going to store between 200,000-250,000 tons to protect Colombia against food shortage, the government pays for the storage and the producer will receive a stable price for the product, (so) it’s good news for rice producers and consumers,” Arias said. The initiative was published after Ecuador applied restrictions to the sale of basic food staples for Colombians living in the border area, based on the argument that there is a shortage of flour, yucca and banana. Arias added the country would provide the stored rice if there is such a need on the market.
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