Beef Exports Boost Nicaraguan Economy
- 24 February 2021
Published by IT Business Net
In the year 2020 Nicaraguan beef exports to countries such as the United States, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Spain reached US$586.09 million.
According to data made available by the Nicaraguan Federation of Livestock Associations (FAGANIC), in Nicaragua, there are 6 million heads of cattle or almost one cow per inhabitant. It is also the case that of the nation’s 136,700 cattle ranchers, 75% have small farms, 20% are of medium size, and only 5% have extensive livestock-ranching operations. This indicates that Nicaragua is a country with a vocation for cattle-raising and that this activity takes place mainly on medium and small-scale farms.
Figures from the Center for Export Procedures (CETREX) show that in the year 2020, 132.99 million kg of beef were exported, reporting an income of US$586.09 million. This means that beef is among Nicaragua’s main exports, along with coffee and gold. That same year, exports of dairy products to El Salvador, Guatemala, the United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama added up to over US$190 million.
The president of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Bovine Meat Export Plants (CANICARNE), José Daniel Núñez, says that “Cattle-raising is an important economic activity for Nicaragua because it contributes to the growth and development of exports. It also creates over 600,000 direct jobs, and thousands more indirect ones, by means of a productive chain that reflects how in this country thousands of families depend directly on cattle-raising.”
For his part, Pablo Duarte, 47, is a small rancher whose farm is in Morritos, department of Río San Juan. He went into cattle-ranching when he inherited land from his father, as part of a generational transition that is a tradition in those parts of the country where cattle is raised.
“I called my farm La Alegría (Joy) because when I got married, we began with the 45 manzanas (31.5 hectares) my father left me and no animals. Today, thirty years later, after much work and effort, we have 50 milking cows and more than twice the amount of land. We sell 240 liters of milk each day, and that brings in enough for the family to live on,” he explained.
This small cattle-rancher is one of thousands of producers that contribute to the country’s economy by selling live cattle and milk.