More than 250 rice producers in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern region of Brazil, are blocking the BR-153 highway in Aceguá, on the border with Uruguay, since Wednesday, April 27, to impede that trucks loaded with rice imported from Uruguay, Argentina, and Thailand enter the country.
One of the protest coordinators, Paulo Ricardo Diaz, said that the importation of subsidized rice with “lower production costs is bringing prices down in Brazil, causing unemployment, and losses for all rice producers in Rio Grande do Sul.”
The president of the Federation of Rice Producers of Rio Grande do Sul (Federarroz), Valter Porter, said that the objective is to attract the government’s attention to what rice producers call a wrong policy.
“Brazil is a self-sufficient country in rice production and importation will only raise supplies unnecessarily,” he said.
Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture will initiate Sunday, May 1st, the National Campaign for the Eradication of the Food and Mouth Disease (FMD – Aftosa).
The objective is to immunize 123.8 million bovines and buffaloes until May 31st, the last day of the campaign. This number represents 65% of the Brazilian breeding stock.
The vaccination against FMD will reach 15 Brazilian states plus the Federal District.