Buying cattle from a local farmer
As we had no luck yesterday in buying calves at the auction in Capira, we decided to try it again at a local farmer. Originally we wanted to avoid buying directly from a local farmer because there is always that issue of “gringo pricing” plus prices tend to be higher in general.
To circumvent the “gringo pricing” a bit Luis can simply act as if he were buying for himself. We brought two more friends and introduced me as a visitor. With the camera in hand and observing from the background that usually works. Still it is annoying.
I’m more than happy that the farm is located in a part of Panama where there are no “gringos” close by. Instead people there believe I am a Panamanian from the city or - actually right and much more pleasant - recognize me being from Europe.
The term “gringo” is usually used for North Americans. I probably should explain that a bit more. We currently live near the village of Sora in the mountains above Chame. A few kilometers from Chame on the Interamerican Highway a place called Coronado is located. Coronado is a little beach town with many expensive developments for rich city folks and foreigners alike. Close to Sora in the mountains there is another development targeted at rich Panamanians and foreigners which is called Altos del Maria.
Land prices have skyrocketed after Altos del Maria came into existence. What used to be cheap land for cattle farming and was sold by the hectarea now is sold by the square meter and in small lots - of course at a premium, if there is a small glimpse of the Pacific ocean to be seen.
So I can understand that everybody around this area is trying to get a piece of the cake for themselves too. Still I’m happy to get out of this area sometime soon. It simply doesn’t feel right.
The pictures in this post show the herd the gentlemen with the Colombian hat owns. We bought two calves that don’t feed on milk anymore and tomorrow we will take them to the farm.
Those two calves came a bit expensive at $280 each. Plus about $130 for the transport on the back of a pickup truck over 300km makes these two very precious. On the other hand we have a special need to establish ourselves at the farm and - hey! - once you own at least two heads of cattle you are a cattleman. So it feels good we finally got started.
|13 Nov 2009
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