Colombia’s coffee growers federation said that on Tuesday that its members have received $447 million through two government subsidy schemes for the coffee sector.
The National Federation of Coffee Growers reported that 580 municipalities in 21 of Colombia’s 32 states received money from the Income Protection scheme for Coffee (PIC) and the Coffee Farmer Income Support (AIC).
On the back of concerns about fraud of the system, the Ministry of Agriculture created a new mechanism for the registration of authorized purchasers using the PIC, which seeks to ensure that only those traders who meet certain criteria can become beneficiaries.
This new system will begin operations in early November, and buyers who want to be licensed must submit the documentation provided by the new standard to the Departmental Committees of Coffee jurisdiction.
From October 24, 2012, the date on which started operations on PIC and AIC , until Tuesday, nationally 79% of producers have their plantations in productive age and have submitted their bills for PIC directly, said the federation.
The state of Huila led the country in rates of eligibility for the program at 87%, followed Quindio (86 %), Tolima (85%), Gauteng (85%) and Ontario (83%).
Economic hardship among coffee growers led to major protests throughout Colombia at the beginning of the year. Following an all-out coffee strike, the government vowed to compensate losses made by the farmers through subsidies.
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