The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), Denis Lichi, stated that the MAG wouldn't issue the Import Phytosanitary Accreditation (Afidi) for the importation of potatoes and onions, for at least 15 more days, even though traders and importers of the Wholesale Market carried out pressure measures to request this authorization.
"We decided not to import any more onions and potatoes more than a month ago because the national production covered our needs. There are no shortages as some people are stating," the minister said in an interview with Radio Nacional del Paraguay.
The minister assured that the national potato and onion production could supply the national market for 15 more days, after which authorities could start issuing the Aphidi to import them again. Meanwhile, the MAG has asked importers to work with the national production.
According to the minister, merchants and importers are exerting pressure on this issue because it importing the foreign production is much cheaper for them. The national onion production is marketed at nearly 45,000 guaranies per bag while the one from Argentina is sold for only 22,000 guaranies a bag.
"It's a very big difference and that's why they want to bring it from outside. They do not care that our producers have to throw away their production because they are unable to market their product," the minister said.