Through infrastructure projects and other initiatives, Panama is cementing its status as the maritime and logistics hub of the Americas. The country has established a logistics cabinet directly under the Presidency and maritime organizations like the Panama Canal Authority have completed logistic megaprojects, such as the 1.1 billion dollar Panama Colon Container Port to serve Super Post-Panamax ships.
Panama already has one of the most advanced airport infrastructures in Latin America, and the second terminal of the Tocumen airport, recently completed, will nearly double current capacity. The Tocumen Development Master Plan is creating an integrated Airport City with multimodal air cargo zone and integration with regional logistics parks. The small size of Panama allows a close interaction among seaports, airports, railway, and special economic zones and the local market. This further facilitates the establishment of specialized and dedicated areas for warehousing and third-party logistics operations. All of this is creating new business opportunities and attracting new companies to set up operations for storage and distribution in the country and for export.
Farming and agriculture is another key component of Panama’s expansion plans. While the sector currently only makes up a small part of the country’s GDP, Panama is offering lucrative incentives to farmers and farming companies to expand agricultural productivity. These include a 0% tax rate on profits made from agriculture related activities under certain conditions.
In addition, local demand for fruits and vegetables is strong in Panama, while its canal, free trade zones, ports, two coast lines and position at the center of the Americas provide all the right conditions to capitalize on the export market as well.
The right altitude, ambient temperatures and light intensity, a pristine water source, easy access to markets, a good labor force and a flourishing agribusiness environment were all key factors considered. All these factors came together at our site in Volcan, Panama. In fact, the area’s pristine growing conditions also drew thousands of Swiss, Polish and German farmers to the area during the early part of the last century, and Volcan and neighboring Cerro Punta are known as Panama’s agricultural heartland.
However, within this farming mecca, not all locations have the ideal conditions for hydroponic crop production. In an area where microclimates are abundant, the Agrorismo agrocluster location just west of iconic Volcan Baru experiences less cloud cover and rainfall than areas just south and west of the Volcano, resulting in more days per year and hours per day of natural sunlight. In addition, the light intensity here, which our team actually measured, is well suited to agriculture production. Cold water from the higher mountains oxygenates as it reaches Volcan, also favoring growing conditions. In addition, the altitude, right around 1,600 meters, is perfect for fruits and vegetables of all varieties, and yet the land is relatively flat to support the development of greenhouse clusters. As a real bonus, the farm is located just five minutes from the center of the town of Volcan, providing easy access to markets and, coincidentally, providing a great opportunity for site visits from our agropark members.