The director of Colombia’s National Planning Department said that tariffs protecting the rice sector will be gradually removed over 19 years, despite the passage of the U.S. free trade deal, Caracol Radio reported Monday.
Hernando Jose Gomez said “we achieved a time period during which rice will be liberalized and for the first five years of the free trade agreement, the tariff, which is 80%, will not be touched. This means that, the tariff will only start to be reduced from year six onward.”
This according to the government is a wide and sufficient time period for the government and the rice sector, working in collaboration, to seek better technology which will allow for an increase in productivity.
Rafael Hernandez, president of Colombia’s rice growers’ federation, Fedearroz, told Colombia Reports last week that the country’s rice growers need better transport infrastructure in order for rice to be more competitive.