Page Seven / La Paz
Meat traders decided to raise the price of meat nationwide by two and 2.50 bolivianos, but the Government rejected the measure as unilateral, breaking an agreement and warned with legal actions for agio.
While the farmers assured that there is no reason for an increase and that the supply of food is guaranteed.
The executive secretary of the National Confederation of Bolivian Meat Workers (Contracabol), Jesús Huchani, reported that the sector determined in an expanded nationwide, held on Thursday, to raise the price of meat based on the increase in the cost of the product delivered by ranchers.
Isidoro Rocabado, leader of the Federation of Workers in Meat and Attached Branches of Cochabamba, added that in the extraordinary extension carried out in El Alto it was determined to resume the increase that had already taken place a few weeks ago because the livestock sector is delivering the product with greater price.
“There is an increase in all cuts of 4.50 bolivianos (kilo hook) that have made us go up. The only department where there was no increase was La Paz, but now the meat is being delivered with an increase of two to three Bolivians, ”he said.
According to the leader, if the ranchers and auction centers continue with the increase, an adjustment is required in all cuts because for retail sales the increase is already unsustainable.
Rocabado indicated that there are not enough cattle, only second and third quality, and the meat is being smuggled.
From Santa Cruz, the television channels reported an increase of 36 and 37 to 38 Bolivians per kilo for first-class meat and from 28 and 30 to 32 Bolivians for second-rate meat.
In a report from the Miraflores and Villa Fátima markets of the Unitel network, some sellers indicated that the kilo of meat will rise, but others pointed out that an increase is not good because people will stop buying and opt for chicken. In a report by the Uno network in the Rodríguez and Miraflores markets, some vendors indicated that the price of a kilo of pulp rose from 42 and 44 Bolivians to 46.50 and 48 Bolivians.
Huchani said that one of the agreements between the government, ranchers and butchers was for auction centers to lower prices, but this was not fulfilled.
Government rejects hike
Last night the Ministry of Productive Development called the Contracabol leadership to a meeting to evaluate the scope of the agreement reached on October 26, in which it was agreed not to raise the price of meat, but the sector decided not to attend.
The Minister of Productive Development, Néstor Huanca, said that Contracabol’s decision to increase the price is unilateral. “We are surprised by the decision of an expanded meat vendor to unilaterally increase the price of meat. We regret the decision and as a government we believe that it is not timely, “he said.
He urged marketers to reflect because insisting on the price increase will only cause the population to stop consuming meat.
He assured that the Executive has fulfilled the agreement to supervise the auction centers, control the departure of cattle and smuggling and a report was being issued, but due to the civic strike, the work could not be completed.
According to Huanca, meat is no longer being exported and there is 100% supply for the domestic market and the livestock sector has been asked to supply it at a fair price.
The Minister of Rural Development and Lands, Remmy Gonzales, described Contracabol’s resolution as irresponsible and remarked that there are no technical and economic arguments to take this measure due to the price offered by farmers at auction centers.
The authority warned the sector not to incur in agio and to comply with the agreement of October 27. “We ask you not to enter into a situation of agio, because there we do have the legal tools to be able to enforce the norm and they will have to pay the consequences, because we as a Government have to guarantee food security, accessibility and that people can buy at a fair price ”, he pointed out.
The president of the Federation of Cattle Ranchers of Santa Cruz, Alejandro Díaz, assured that there is no justification for the price increase, since it is in the normal ranges and there is stability.
He clarified that there is a range of meat prices that varies depending on the male animal with 21 to 22.70 bolivianos and the cow 16 bolivianos per kilo. “There is no justification for a price hike, we have talked with producers in Beni and the Chaco and prices are normal. We call marketers to sanity and not cause housewives to startle ”, he said. He added that the audit of the auction centers is ongoing and its closure is not part of the agenda.
Butchers will march in each city next week.
We are surprised by the decision to unilaterally increase the price of meat. We believe that it is not timely
Nestor Huanca, Minister