20,000 agriculture producers will benefit from Fideagro reforms

The Salvadoran Congress approved reforms to the Special Trust for the Agricultural Sector (Fideagro) to benefit 20,000 small and medium-sized Salvadoran agricultural producers, according to Enrique Parada, interim Minister of Agriculture.

According to the official, the trust, which was originally intended to benefit corn and bean producers, is now being expanded to include fishing, livestock, grain, fruit trees, vegetables, innovative ventures, and other non-traditional products such as minor species.

As for loans, they went from $3,000 to $5,000 with an interest rate of 4%, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).

«We are going to place $60 million in credits for the sector through this trust and thus achieve an increase in production of some 60,000 agricultural manzanas that will guarantee the country’s food security» — the minister said.

To access the credits, the producers will be informed by the extension technicians of the National Center for Agricultural Technology (Centa). The funds will be granted through the Agricultural Development Bank (BFA).

According to the official, added to this measure is the exemption from payment of the Import Tariff Rights (DAI) tax on agricultural inputs within the framework of the 11 measures of the Anti-Crisis Plan promoted by President Nayib Bukele.

According to the minister, these conditions are given by the effects on the supply chain in logistics issues and exports of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, which are due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

«In our case (agriculture), tariffs have been eliminated on the main foods of the basic basket, fertilizer inputs, and prepared formulas,» the minister assured.

These actions, he said, allow lower prices for consumers. In addition, control visits are being made to the different markets, agro-services, warehouses, fertilizer, and food importers to verify prices and product quality.

«Yesterday, 150 technicians went out into the field to verify that prices were stable in 85 warehouses, agro-services, and stores. This has been possible thanks to coordination with Centa, the Salvadoran Institute of Agrarian Transformation» — he said.