Bolivian Government Suspends Exports of Corn and Sorghum

LA PAZ – The government of Evo Morales on Wednesday temporarily suspended exports of corn and sorghum in the face of the rise in prices for the grains in the domestic market and to prevent smuggling.

The decree, approved at the regular weekly Cabinet meeting, was issued within the framework of the Bolivian government’s food security policy and was justified on the basis of the rise in corn and sorghum prices in the domestic market, which “affects the most vulnerable population in the country.”

To comply with the suspension of exports, the Bolivian government also ordered security forces and the customs agency to seize shipments of those products that people or firms might try to send to neighboring countries.

The export prohibition on the cereals will remain in effect until prices normalize and the country’s food security is ensured, officials said.

The measure comes after the temporary prohibition on sugar exports ordered by the Bolivian government on Feb. 19, a move also taken to halt the rising price of that product in the domestic market. That decree provoked complaints from the sector, which warned of production and jobs losses as a result.

Sellers of corn and sorghum attribute the domestic price increase for the grains to the increase in smuggling, the official ABI news agency said. EFE

Source: Latin American Herald Tribune

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