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Brazilian and Argentinian tomatoes are smuggled into the country

Paraguay: National production of tomatoes will cover demand until December

Cesar Velazquez, the head of the Paraguayan Fruit and Vegetable Chamber, said they had to put a stop to the smuggling of tomatoes into the country. He also said he believed that the domestic production would cover the domestic market until December.

When asked about how the income of this smuggled item affected the national tomato production, the producer said that, despite not having import permits, consumers could find tomatoes from Brazil and Argentina in the local market. "So far there, not much has been confiscated," he said, referring to the controls at the border posts where the boxes of tomatoes enter the country.

He said that the controls in those places were carried out with a certain flexibility. "They are very flexible at the border. Customs has a very flexible control. There is a place known as the primary zone and they are already flexible there," he said.

He also stated that between Ciudad del Este and Caaguazu smugglers were free to roam, but that there was more control between Coronel Oviedo and Asuncion. "There is a little more control starting Coronel Oviedo. Some change the merchandise to national boxes, others get legal papers. There are several mechanisms. The Senave does its job by not giving more import permission, but it needs support from the Detave and the Navy, because there is also a lot of flexibility in the controls, "said Velazquez.

According to reports provided by Senave and Detave, in October they managed to seize 33,695 kilos of tomatoes smuggled into different parts of the country, including in Asuncion's Supply Market.

Regarding the production, Velazquez said there would be a lot of tomatoes in November and that there was enough supply to cover the demand of the local market until December and even January. It will all depend on the climate and the infrastructure (greenhouses) that producers have to protect the production, he said.


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