The country’s production of natural oils and fats derives mainly from five different crops: palm, soy, sesame, peanut and cotton. Palm oil, concentrated in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua (RAAS, for its acronym in Spanish), has been developed the most in the country by industries that work with small producers.
Palm oil is mainly exported to Mexico, stated Pedro Lacayo, General Manager of Agrosa—an oil distribution company. “One part stays in Nicaragua and the rest is exported. And now, since last year, it started to open to Venezuela, which has helped to increase export value”, remarked Lacayo.
The palm oil industry directly employs around 2,000 people and 10,000 indirectly. Additionally, the production of other oils in the northwest region of Nicaragua employs nearly 4,000 people.
According to the Center of Exports Procedures (CETREX, for its acronym in Spanish), oils and fats sales abroad generated US$78.1 million in 2013. In terms of volume, CETREX reported exports reaching the quantity of 49.1 million kg. From January to February 2014, Nicaragua has exported 6.3 million kg. of oil for the amount of US$9.5 million.