Table grape operations in Ica, Peru, have resumed after 12 days of blockades and violent farm intrusions. According to Alejandro Cabrera from the Association of Table Grape Producers of Peru (Provid), law enforcement and citizens could peacefully negotiate the opening of crucial highways.
“We appreciate the firm commitment of citizens and congratulate the exemplary and peaceful acts of law enforcement in the release of highways in the Ica region, carried out yesterday (Monday). After more than 12 days of stoppages that hindered the daily development of the activities of the agro-export sector, our Associates can resume their harvesting and packing operations in the various farms and packing plants of the Ica region,” says Cabrera.
The past two weeks was tough for the Ica region, as the main table grape production region of Peru. “More than six table grape farming companies have been affected by acts of vandalism and criminals who have burned the front of farms and surveillance booths, looking for the workers of the sector to join their demonstrations and strikes, even threatening them so that they do not continue working. In general, there are various companies that have paralyzed their operations due to those unfavourable context last week. Some have even stopped since Thursday the 19th, the day these violent acts began. Others have stopped since Monday the 23rd and the vast majority have halted their work since Tuesday the 24th January.”
“If we take the last campaign (2021-2022) as a reference, the Ica region exported on average during the month of January approximately $12 million worth of table grapes per day and an average of 4 200 tons per day. In addition, it employs more than 70 000 people on a daily basis between field (harvest) and plant (processing) work. People who live from day to day were not able to generate income due to these acts of vandalism in the interior of the country. For each company that stops, between 2 000 and 4 000 formal jobs can be lost, generated by agro-exports,” stated Cabrera.
He says Provid and the whole industry are relieved to continue with harvesting, packing and exports. “In addition, they allow the reactivation of the economy in its entirety of the Ica region, by allowing the hundreds of thousands of citizens involved indirectly with the sector to participate in the value chain, as is the case of hotels, warehouses, restaurants, shopping centers, transporters and various agents that provide direct services to agriculture in the Ica region. We call for reflection, for the good of the country, which allows us to continue building together the Peru that we all yearn for and want. Constantly, and together with AGAP, we have made more than one call to the country's authorities to take action on the matter, and to preserve the rule of law in our country, freedom of work and freedom of transit. Peru wants peace and we need this peace to be able to dialogue and build together the future that we all want for our country,” concludes Cabrera.
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