Colombian rice growers say their livelihood is in trouble, because of
the poor condition of the road connecting the country’s eastern plains
with Bogota and the delay in road works.
Growers in the Meta and Casanare departments in the east of Colombia produce 500 thousand tons of rice every year. This rice has trouble reaching the capital Bogota, because of the poor condition of the road. Because of these delays, the price of the rice in the capital is unnecessarily high, the Federation of Rice Growers told economic magazine Portafolio.
According to Rafael Hernandez, president of the Federation, 16 thousand truckloads are transported every day from Colombia’s eastern plains to the capital and all transport is delayed because of roadworks, primarily at the Boqueron tunnel.
Hernandez says it is not just the rice growers who are in trouble because of the poor condition of the roads, but that the problems are unneccesarily increasing the price of palm oil, gasoline, cattle and fruit in the capital.
The Federation says that as a result of the difficult transport, many growers now prefer to smuggle their products to Venezuela and Ecuador.