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Paraguay announces agriculture relief measures amid severe drought – Reuters

Soybean plants are seen in a field in Hernandarias, Paraguay February 7, 2017. Picture taken February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno
ASUNCION, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Paraguay announced on Wednesday new measures to support the agricultural sector, including credit lines to refinance debt and tax cuts, as a severe drought affects farm output in the world's fourth-largest soybean exporter.
Paraguay President Mario Abdo said the new measures seek to provide "relief and predictability" to the sector as the country's economy bounces back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program, which aims to support 21,000 small-sized farmers, includes a cut in the corporate income tax in the first quarter and debt refinancing credit lines through state-run lender Banco Nacional de Fomento and other state agencies.
The country was expecting to harvest a crop of about 10 million tonnes of soybean in 2021/22 but some producers warned this week – less than a month before the harvest is expected to kick off – that the figure would likely drop due to a lack of rain.
Paraguay, which is also one of the 10 largest beef exporters in the world, expects its gross domestic product to grow 3.7% this year, after a 5% rise reported 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.
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