- Asamblea Nacional
The Panamanian Parliament approved today in the third and final reading a bill to stabilize the agricultural sector, suspending all imports of meat and milk producers for a period of 12 months, reported the Legislative Body.
The bill of Law 680 authorizes in that sense the holder of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) to suspend for a year all the imports of these products.
This regulation grants MIDA the power to temporarily postpone imports of agricultural products for human consumption whose demand can be supplied by domestic production.
The bill introduced by opposition deputies Rubén De León, Yanibel Ábrego, Mariela Vega and Javier Ortega, refers to the cuts of meat in carcasses or half-carcases, bone-in pieces and boneless meat included in the suspension of imports.
It also includes the edible offal of fresh or chilled bovine species, chilled or frozen meats of animals of fresh porcine species, breasts, thighs.
Last August, dozens of agricultural producers demonstrated in different parts of Panama and blocked roads to ask the government to urgently solve the crisis in the sector and reduce the "excessive" food imports.
They also criticize the lack of a long-term State policy, which has caused the gradual deterioration of the countryside, which already represents only 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
The producers also demand the disappearance of the Panamanian Food Safety Authority (Aupsa), which is in charge of controlling imports, and the creation of a new entity in which they can participate.