Rice growers seek ban on some foreign imports

Rice producers said that they are seeking restrictions on importation of the grain from the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio.

The farm group said that such restrictions are allowed under international treaties to safeguard the industry. The group also said that quotas under the Free Trade Treaty with the United States are not involved.

The group is seeking to prevent foreign imports for 200 days.

The Asamblea Nacional de Productores said that acreage devoted to rice has declined nearly 32 percent to about 57,000 hectares.

Rice is a controlled commodity in Costa Rica, and the ministry sets the wholesale price. Rice growers may not receive a warm welcome with their request because they successfully sued in court to raise the price from the amount the ministry had set. The government is obligated to pay significant compensation.

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