Salvadoran ranchers need their annual livestock fair

Local cattle production.

This year, the annual livestock fair in San Miguel will not be happening for the first time in 30 years. During those years, ranchers have come to rely on this annual fair to make or finalize transactions, and agricultural businesses have come to market their latest equipment and products. So if the ranchers are missing out and the businesses are in need of their business, why cancel the annual livestock exposition? As a protest – ranchers feel that the government isn’t giving the support this sector deserves. The ranchers are lamenting, the agricultural businesses are lamenting, but they all share the same sentiment – that this action is necessary, however painful it might be to cancel the best livestock fair in the country. Naturally, this protest has farther reaching effects. For one, the many vendors that would have made a lot of money during this fair are now losing out (no one to sell candy, food, and other snacks to). Also the annual rodeo may or may not be canceled, as it was part of the whole fair and sponsored by the ranchers. Without the fair to accompany it, the organizers of the rodeo don’t believe many will attend their show. When the ranchers withdrew their intentions of attending the fair, they withdrew all sponsorships associated with the fair. These side-effects of the protest have been estimated to be a $300,000 loss. The fair itself generally costs around $20,000 to put on, and the rodeo an additional $16,000. But this year, the fair will not go on. Ranchers do not receive any direct support from the government; they say that the government’s view (particularly from the Ministry of Agriculture) is that they are giving money to the agriculture sector in general – in fact, they’re “raining down money” on the agricultural sector, and so by default, the ranchers should be seeing drops of that money in their pockets. But that seems to not be the case. So the ranchers are sending a message to the government that they need to be viewed separately, as another entity that deserves support during hard times for the work they do to feed the country. And by the way, the rodeo will go on from November 18 to the 25 in San Miguel.

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