Suriname agri exports decline dramatically

(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – The agricultural sector in general is declining at an alarming rate. While nation-wide exports of agricultural products amounted to some 80 tons a week ten years ago, this number has currently declined to some 35 tons.

Uncontrolled use of chemicals here and stricter safety requirements imposed by food-importing countries are among the reasons for this decline. Umar Taus, chairman of the Association of Exporters of Agrarian Products and Ramon Bajnath, chairman of the Agricultural Organization Oceaanproject are concerned about trends within this sector.

The government has the objective of making the country the region’s food supplier, yet no measures to make this possible have been taken so far. Taus mentions bad monitoring and lack of information and education activities by the Agriculture (LVV) Ministry. Bajnath claims important posts at LVV have been filled by “incompetent political appointees” and he concludes there is absolutely no policy. Taus adds farmers have problems with access to credit, as banks have little confidence in the sector because of the too high risk involved.

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