Potato Farmers Lift Strike, Reach Agreement with Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture and potato farmers reached an agreement on several demands late Wednesday evening, following a “fruitful dialogue.”

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and his new Agriculture minister, Jose Arista. Source: Andina

The announcement was made by President Kuczynski, a first success achieved by his new Agriculture minister, Jose Arista, and welcome news to the President who has faced two weeks of heavy criticism and difficult choices for the new cabinet, sworn in yesterday.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the Agriculture ministry and the regional governments of Huancavelica, Ayacucho, Junín, Apurímac and Huánuco. One of the immediate points is that regional governments will be buying the excess potato production in their areas for up to S/. 1.5 million in each region, and a technical negotiation table will be established to discuss and find solutions to the farmers’ demands for technical assistance in production, irrigation and industrialization.

The farmers are expected to lift their strike and remove roadblocks throughout the five Andean regions tonight.

Farmers this year have faced a sharp drop in potato prices — from around  S/.0.80 per kilo to as low as S/.0.20— and blamed it on the pre-cooked potatoes being imported to supply the fast-food industry.  The national statistics institute, INEI, and Agrodata show, however, that the volume of imported potatoes is nominal — only 32,000 tons against an average of 4.5 million tons of locally grown potatoes.  The cause for the drop in prices has been the overproduction in the 2017 season.  For more details, see Potato Farmers Protest Sharp Drop in Prices.

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One Comment

  1. The government in Peru has a reshuffle of it’s cabinet in Lima every few months, much like the previous governments. A cabinet leader never has time to learn what to do in their new job. They look like nice people, wear nice suits, but little is accomplished. If the government could get itself organized , then maybe they should offer some incentives to a major corporation, to build a processing plant in Peru. Organize the farmers, and tell them what to grow. Also the quality of the potatoes required for producing frozen potato products. Take 3 years to build a production plant. Within 10 years this production facility would supply all of Peru with frozen potatoes products. Soon after, frozen potato products would become a major export product. The Peruvian farmers can grow what ever crops needed, all they need is some leadership, with a vision to make it happen.

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