Protests stop

Peru: The Government will buy 7,000 kg of potatoes from each producer

The Government has reached an agreement with the National Commission of Potato Producers (Conapropa) to buy their surplus production, stated head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Minagri), Jose Arista Arbildo, last night.

The Minagri approved the purchase of 7,000 kilograms of white potatoes per producer in regions with a surplus production, within a maximum period of 7 days, he said. The established price is S/ 1.00 per kilogram.

Before reaching this agreement, the Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policies of the Minagri, Benjamin Quijandria, said that despite the call for dialogue and the four meetings held between the Minagri and the potato producers, the farmers had simply torpedoed the meetings and were bent on their protest.

"They want us to declare the agricultural sector's crisis but that declaration does not exist in our legislation." The Minagri wants to discuss with the real potato producers, he said. "We can not discuss with people that promote violence, people who have a political agenda, and those who are looking for the disturbance of peace."

More ideological than factual
According to the former Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Juan Manuel Benites, the potato producers' request for the sector to declare an emergency is more ideological than factual.

The State should sit down and dialogue with producers to listen to them and offer the people who work in that sector different alternatives, such as a financial rescue program for small producers, he said.

"No debt forgiveness. That would be problematic because in the long run it would increase the risk of lending to the agricultural sector, which would lead to an increase in future rates. What can be done is relaxing deadlines, manage payment flows, but not condoning the debt," he stated.

The next follow-up meeting of the agreements adopted will be held on February 23. 

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