More than 40 representatives of the unions of rice farmers, millers and users’ associations, who met with the government authorities last Friday, They ask that the agreements of this meeting be included in the message to the nation that the president will give for the National Holidays, otherwise they will initiate an indefinite national strike.
Among the agreements that the unions consider urgent is the delivery of the first batch of urea scheduled for August 15, whose social price is already set by the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri) and access to credit for farmers with fixed rates, not higher than 3%.
In addition, the revision of the agrarian debt for farmers and the creation of a fund for the agrarian sector of S/ 1,800 million, which turns Agrobanco into a development bank that allows agricultural reactivation,
As a fifth point, the announcement of the installation of the National Rice Council in August. This council will have the participation of farmers to make important decisions for the sector and the inclusion of local agricultural products in social programs such as Vaso de Leche, Qali Warma and soup kitchens.
“This is the second chance we give [al Gobierno]since we are in the second campaign of the crops and the offers made at the meeting on November 30 last year have not been fulfilled”, emphasized Isaías Martínez, president of the Federation of Rice Producers of San Martín.
In the same vein, the regional governor of San Martín, Pedro Bogarín, demanded that the government speed up political decision-making in response to the serious crisis that farmers are going through.
“San Martín has become the first rice-producing region. The union strikes are diluted with works and with results. The farmers are already tired of so many meetings. We ask for a serious and coherent agrarian policy”, remarked the governor.
For his part, the president of the board of users of the Chira valley, from Piura, Ángel Zapata, pointed out that the credit rates offered by Agrobanco are inaccessible to small and medium-sized farmers, due to the advisory costs that the bank itself requires. .
“The credits must have a fair interest, if possible less than 3% so that the farmers can start working because today we are bankrupt. In addition, our union did not comply with the previous strike while waiting for an urgent solution, otherwise we will go on indefinite strike”, he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the president of Conveagro, Clímaco Cárdenas, expressed that “we hope that on July 28 Agrobanco will be launched as a development bank, with a capital increase that allows it to serve farmers in the three regions of Peru. Today, only 4% of producers are served.”
The San Martín region produces 110,000 hectares of rice, ranking among the largest region of rice growers and the regional government has invested more than S/ 160 million in the agricultural sector.
Finally, the rice farmers asked for the inclusion of the governor of San Martín as part of the central government’s technical team for a solution to the current crisis.