Ecuador: Brewery Project Boosts Barley Growing
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The volume of Barley produced in Ecuador was reported to be 15,000 tons in 2019. In contrast, the country consumed three times as much Barley compared to production volume in 2019, with 45,000 tons of grains consumed. The USDA forecasts Ecuador’s Barley production at 13,000 tons in MY 2022/2023. In 2020, Ecuador imported Barley worth USD7.4 million, becoming the 53rd most significant importer of Barley in the world. Ecuador imports Barley primarily from Argentina.
The National Brewery Industry project began in 2020, with the production of 12,000 hectares of Barley, corn, and rice in 10 provinces of Ecuador under contract. They achieved a production of 20,000 metric tons and benefited 1,065 farmers, to whom they provided technical advice, fertilizers, and seeds.
José Luis González, President of the Cervecería Nacional, says that since 2009 the company has promoted the growth of agriculture through development programs and sustainable agriculture. In his early years, he focused on fodder Barley crops in Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, and Pichincha. In 13 years, they managed to have 7,135 farmers. Earlier, the project reached another turn to encourage the production of malting Barley, with the idea of using it to make a new beverage brand with ingredients grown by farmers in the country.
The idea of the Ecuadorian firm is to invest USD12 million by 2025 with direct purchases from 2,000 farmers in Guayas, Los Ríos, Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Bolívar, Chimborazo and Azuay, where they grow rice, corn, and Barley. Currently, they have 15,000 hectares planted under this modality in eight provinces of the country.
In November 2021, Rosa Morocho and her husband José, residents of Riobamba, planted a quintal of certified seed that the National Brewery gave them with its program: ‘Siembra por contracto’, of which she has been a part since 2021. This was the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
In the sector, there is no irrigation, they just wait for the rains so as not to lose the crop. The 40-year-old woman is happy because the rainfall was intense in the last year; With this, plus technical support, fertilization, and the placement of urea, she managed to have a healthy crop and a thick grain. Morocho has not yet signed her contract with the Guayaquil company, but she says that the purchase of the cereal is assured.
For every 100-pound quintal of good quality Barley, she will receive a payment of USD22. She will not have to go out and sell in the market and deal with her intermediaries, who used to pay her between USD14 and USD15 for a 140-pound sack. She calculates that they will harvest at least 25 quintals of Barley with the help of the threshing machine.
Barley Planting in Guamote, Ecuador
In the Yacupamba community, in the Guamote canton (Chimborazo), five families are part of the initiative. At least 16 hectares of this cereal flourish in the sector. Pedro Tenesaca is a producer and leader of a town of 500 families. He says that Barley production will undoubtedly improve the economy. “People in the community still don’t believe in the benefits; they are incredulous until they see the results.”
The 45-year-old man planted two hectares of Barley, believing to obtain a significant production and earn a good income. He hopes to produce about 60 quintals for each hectare planted. He remembers that years ago, people grew Barley, and when it went on the market, the intermediary earned more than the producer, so he stopped doing it.
Pablo Galarza, on the other hand, with the help of his family, planted 3 hectares of Barley. He says: “The proposal caught my attention, and I decided to be part of the program after signing a five-year contract to plant Barley and deliver it to the brewery, guaranteeing me a secure income.”
Other sources: ELCOMERCIO
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