Peru's agricultural exports are 100% reactivated after blockade due to protests

Peru's agro-export sector has managed to reactivate 100 percent since the Armed Forces began clearing the blocked highways in the south and north of the country amid protests, said union representative Gabriel Amaro.

"All agricultural exports are already working 100 percent, there have obviously been losses, but they are working 100 percent again," said Amaro, executive director of the Association of Agricultural Producers Guilds of Peru (AGAP), in an interview with Xinhua.
Peru has lived since last December, after the failed coup carried out by former president Pedro Castillo and the subsequent presidential inauguration of Dina Boluarte, a wave of demonstrations that already left 70 dead.

Since then, the sector has been severely affected, mainly by the blockade of the Panamericana Sur highway, which is a "core" route connecting the southern regions with Lima, the coast, and the north of the country, where producers send their crops, he explained.

However, after the forces of order began to unblock the roads on January 31, in several sections of the departments of Ica (center-south) and Arequipa (south), the agrarian movement began to normalize, which in several opportunities had to use the desert as an alternative route, since the protesters did not respect the hard work of the farmers.

“As soon as the roads were freed, the companies began to work intensively to export the products we have in the southern zone, particularly in Ica. As soon as the roads were cleared, they began to ship the refrigerated containers to the ports,” said Amaro.

But despite the fact that the products have already begun to ship, the agro-export sector has calculated that the loss in various crops exceeds 300 million dollars, since many of these could not leave the towns and ended up being damaged, this is one of the reasons that have forced leftist movements to stop extorting the entire country.

“In Ica we are in high season, for example, for grapes, this being one of the main producers and exporters of grapes. But there has also been a loss of asparagus, blueberries, onions, and garlic, which are also exported," said the interviewee.

The situation kept Peru in total concern because the sector has several international commitments and many families depend on income from agriculture, since a series of agricultural products of different types are "exported to about 150 countries in the world". both fresh and frozen.

Although most of the roads in the south have been cleared after the Government announced on January 26 an operation to unblock the roads of the National Road Network in a state of emergency, some remain interrupted in Cusco, Puno and Junín, the report continued. AGAP director.

According to the Superintendence of Land Transportation of People, Cargo and Goods (Sutran), to date there are 71 points in six regions with interrupted transit, as well as 14 national roads affected.

In the north of the country, in the La Libertad region, "it was possible to solve it relatively quickly" and today it is "free of blockades," he acknowledged.

On the other hand, Amaro reported that only in the south the road blockade affected some 100.000 direct workers in the agricultural industry and some 200.000 indirect formal workers, who provide "service and attention" to the export sector.

"We have calculated about 100 million soles (about 26 million dollars) in salaries that could not reach the workers' pockets," he estimated.

After considering the high loss of the sector, the representative of AGAP asserted that small farmers require the help of the Government to be able to "comply with their commitments and continue with the agricultural process of the following seasons."

Meanwhile, he asked Peru's trading partners to continue receiving agricultural products from the South American country, as it is "the best favor they can do" to a nation with "a democratic government."

According to the latest report from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, between January and September 2022, agricultural exports totaled 6.765 million dollars and imports 4.943 million dollars, generating a trade surplus of 1.822 million dollars.

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