Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
While Nero Fiddles
It seems the Secretary of Agriculture and Cattle (SAG) may not have received the message about the overabundant harvests this year. Radio America reports that Arturo Galo, spokesperson for the Secretary of Agriculture and Cattle is forcasting significant losses in the basic grains sector because of El Niño conditions. He reports that bean growers in the departments of Yoro and Olancho have lost the entire crop due to drought. Drought has lead to significant reductions in the overall bean and corn harvests throughout the country. He advises people to be prepared for a shortage of basic grains.
Contrast this with a story in today's Tribuna, which says that the El Niño induced shortages will NOT affect Hondurans. The article admits that the drought has reduced harvests, but "authorities guarantee a solid supply in case of emergency." In an apparent contradiction of the laws of economics, Aristides Girón notes that grain prices are already low because "the market is saturated with grain." So why does he suggest that they should further saturate it with more grain, lowering prices even further?
He feels that the excess could be sold to Guatemala to feed its hungry, already suffering because of lost harvests, but ignores the comments of the President of Guatemala, that the problem isn't a grain shortage, it is that the people lost their crops and who need to buy food have no money to buy it at any price.
The Honduran weather service is forcasting El Niño conditions across much of Honduras for the coming year, and is forcasting crop losses for some parts of the country. COPECO, the Honduran group that handles disaster planning says the reserves are what will keep Honduras in good conditions during this drought! Jorge Solís, director of COPECO says that during a drought the pastures don't grow (so you have to feed the cattle grain) and the seeds dry out "but we are saved by the reserves, although we hope that in October it will rain, though in lesser, not in normal amounts."
So tell me again why they should flood the market with unneeded grain, lowering the prices that everyone will get for their harvest, just to buy back the national production to re-establish the national grain reserves?