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Cablegate: Nicaragua Fy2010 Food for Progress Program Request

VZCZCXRO4545
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHMU #0806 2291706
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171706Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4450
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RUMIAAA/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MANAGUA 000806

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

USDA/FAS/OFSO - HMAGINNIS
USDA/FAS/OCBD/FA - JPHILLIPS, EBELTRAN, DPFAFF
USDA/FAS/OCDB/TSCB - CEVANS
USDA/FAS/OCRA - YWEDDERBURN
AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA FOR BHOFF AND DORELLANA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR NU CS
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA FY2010 FOOD FOR PROGRESS PROGRAM REQUEST

1. (SBU) Summary: The Government of Nicaragua (GON) has requested a
$4.8 million FY2010 government-to-government U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) Food for Progress (FFP) program to continue work
with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAGFOR) to improve
Nicaragua's sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards to take
advantage of the Central America - United States - Dominican
Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and other free trade
agreements. The program with MAGFOR would support agricultural
development, improve food safety, and promote international trade.
The commodities requested for monetization are 4,260 MT of vegetable
oil and 1,820 MT of tallow. Post believes this program supports our
efforts to foster private sector led growth and assist Nicaraguan
farmers in their efforts to take advantage of CAFTA-DR. It would
also demonstrate our interest in continuing to cooperate with the
GON on areas of common interest. End summary.

2. (SBU) On July 31, 2009, through the Foreign Agricultural Service
(FAS) website, the GON formally submitted a proposal for a FY2010
government-to-government USDA FFP program. The Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry requested a three-year program to
strengthen the government's technical capacity in on SPS issues and
to assist exporters in their efforts to meet SPS standards in
international markets. It would support agricultural development,
improve food safety, and promote international trade. The program
would address areas such as the development of a national plant
health surveillance program; good agricultural practices/traceback;
maintenance of a fruit fly free area; hog cholera prevention
program; prevention, control, and eradication of avian diseases; and
certifications of ranches free of tuberculosis and brucellosis.

3. (SBU) Commodities will be monetized through the Nicaraguan
Importation Company (ENIMPORT), a dependency of the Ministry of
Finance, which has successfully monetized FY2003, FY2004, and FY2005
government-to-government FFP programs. The program request is for
4,260 MT of vegetable oil and 1,820 MT of tallow, with a current
estimated value of $4.8 million. The GON would provide $1.2 million
as a counterpart contribution for an estimated program total of $6.0
million. Post supports the request for vegetable oil and tallow as
the preferred commodities. According to the Nicaraguan Customs
Administration, 2008 imports of vegetable oil exceeded 62,000 MT,
while tallow imports were more than 18,000 MT.

4. (SBU) Post supports this FPP proposal and believes it complements
ongoing FFP programs and other private and public agricultural
sector programs. We believe this program supports our efforts to
foster private sector-led growth and assist Nicaraguan farmers in
their efforts to take advantage of CAFTA-DR. It would also
demonstrate our interest in continuing to cooperate with the GON on
areas of common interest.

CALLAHAN

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