ASUNCIÓN (Reuters) – Paraguay on Wednesday announced new measures to support the agricultural sector, including lines of credit to refinance debt and tax cuts, amid a severe drought that has affected the production of the fourth largest soy exporter in the country. world.
Paraguayan President Mario Abdo said the new measures seek to provide “relief and predictability” to the sector as the country’s economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The program, which aims to support 21,000 small farmers, includes a cut in corporate income tax in the first quarter and debt refinancing credit lines through the state-owned Banco Nacional de Fomento and other state agencies.
The country had hoped to harvest a crop of around 10 million tonnes of soybeans in 2021/22, but some producers warned this week – less than a month before the harvest starts – that the number would likely drop due to lack of rain.
Paraguay, which is also one of the ten largest beef exporters in the world, expects its gross domestic product to grow by 3.7% this year, after a 5% increase registered in 2021.
Much of the country’s economic growth is supported by the agricultural sector and hydroelectric power generation, which was also affected by the drought.
(Reporting by Daniela Desantis)
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