In a press release published on May 3 in the national press, the ministry notes that in order to gradually increase the purchasing power of the Cuban peso (CUP), a series of measures were taken to increase supplies of agricultural products in high demand and set maximum prices.
The press release recalls that the Central Report to the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba states, “Although we understand that the fundamental factor in the rising prices resides in insufficient production levels unable to satisfy demand, with progress made in this area affected by objective and subjective factors, we can not remain unresponsive to citizen’s frustration at the unscrupulous manipulation of prices by intermediaries whose sole consideration is to make more money.”
The document adds that prior to these decisions, the Ministry of Agriculture organized a process of discussion with producers, marketers and the enterprise system.
The measures, the ministry adds, constitute protection for consumers and agricultural producers, by ensuring price stability.
The measures took effect from May 3, as Resolutions 157-C and 162 of 2016, from the Ministry of Finance and Prices, published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba.
The resolutions establish, among other things, maximum retail prices of selected agricultural products of the highest quality, in accordance with current regulations, while second grade produce will see an additional price reduction of 20% and third grade products of 40%.
The established maximum prices are subject to seasonal supplies of each crop: with lower prices due to increased supplies when a product is in season, and higher established prices when the produce is out of season. The price regulations apply to all types of agricultural produce markets, other than those of the Supply and Demand Market system and produce sold by authorized self-employed persons in the case of the province of Havana.
In exceptional cases, some agricultural markets may maintain their own pricing, where produce quality is recognized as providing added value, while for the rest of the agricultural produce purchased by state companies, with no centralized prices, trade margins are set not to exceed 40%, to ensure prices are not excessively increased for the population.
Previously, on April 22, price reductions of up to 20% on a series of products, the majority foodstuffs, were implemented.