The pigs intended for the preparation of the hams for the Solidarity Christmas program have already been purchased from the pig farmers. said, Juan Guevara, president of the Association of United Pig Farmers of Panama (Apup).
He explained that since March to date, producers have sold around 20 thousand pigs to the Government, to be used in the preparation of hams for the program carried out by the Agricultural Marketing Institute (IMA).
His reaction comes a day after the Government announced the suspension of the delivery of hams for the end-of-the-year festivities after alleging that due to the blockages of streets, by protesters who oppose the mining contract, the supply of raw materials for the preparation of ham and turkey pieces.
“In no way can it be suspended because that has already been sold,” the leader clarified.
“We have been coming since March. “We provide the raw material for the industry to carry out the industrial and maturing procedure of the pig to obtain the hams,” he indicated.
He assured that that is why they proceeded months in advance to carry out the transaction with the Government. “Hence, what remains paused is the logistics of delivering hams,” explained Guevara.
He assured that pig farmers also subsidize the Solidarity Christmas program since they must wait from seven months to a year to receive their product.
Guevara clarified that the purchase of this raw material is not done overnight, but rather it is a manufactured product, which reaches between 500 thousand and 700 thousand pieces.
He recognized that this purchase represents an incentive for small and medium-sized producers, who now find themselves between “a rock and a hard place.”
In an interview with TVN Noticias, Alexis Pineda, vice minister of the Ministry of Agricultural Development, said that the decision is not about some kind of hit to the population that has taken to the streets out of discontent towards the government.
He indicated that they made an evaluation and concluded that if they acquired 1.2 million pieces of ham the market could be affected, due to the lack of distribution of the product in the country because of road closures.