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Peru: Agricultural exports to increase by 17% to 6 billion+

The Minister of Agriculture, Juan Manuel Benites, said that the sector's budget would increase by 26% next year. He added that 61% of the funds would be used to finance programs and projects that promote family farming.

Benites estimated that the opening of new markets and the signing of new health protocols would boost agricultural exports by 17%, from 5.135 billion dollars this year to 6.008 billion dollars in 2015 and that they would have a strong presence in Europe and Asia mainly.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI) would continue to promote the access of Peruvian agricultural products to international markets and implement irrigation projects aimed at exporting agricultural products.

Proof of this is the recent start of irrigation operations at Olmos (Lambayeque), which will expand the agricultural frontier by 43,500 hectares.

He also stressed that they would be implementing various irrigation works in the coming months in order to increase crop areas, such as the third stage of Chavimochic (La Libertad), Majes-Siguas II (Arequipa), an irrigation project in Ica, and the Binational Puyango Tumbes Project, among others.

Minister Benites stated that the agricultural sector's budget for 2015 amounted to $1,953 million soles, 26% more than last year's budget, which amounted to $1,581 million soles.

He said the MInagri would allocate its biggest resources to fund projects that promote family farming, competitiveness, proper management of water resources, and prevention of climate change.

According to Benites, 61% of the resources would be allocated to family farming through the Mi Riego fund (450 million soles), the conversion of crops in VRAEM (105 million soles), the renewal of coffee plantations (100 million soles), the articulation of producers with the market (321 million soles), among others.

Regarding the sector's competitiveness and water management, the minister said the Ministry would allocate 188 million soles to improve agricultural health, 167 million soles for water management, and 70 million soles for desilting rivers, among others.

The minister stated that one of the Ministry's main goals was to promote agricultural innovation and the incorporation of new technologies to promote the modernization of the field, under the 180 million dollars loan the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) granted to strengthen the National Institute of Agrarian Innovation (INIA).

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