The National Council for Organic Products (CONAPO), a new institution in Peru, is anticipated to strengthen small-scale organic farming, offering support to 43,000 exporters of ecological products and 350,000 suppliers of environmentally-friendly products.
According to the 2012 agricultural census, 72 percent of Peruvian farms are smaller than six hectares, mainly supplying the domestic market. Agriculture represents 25 percent of all jobs in Peru. CONAPO will initiate a bolstering of small-scale agriculture. The United Nations has affirmed the importance of family farming worldwide for its social and productive significance.
“There is no public spending that puts the priority on small-scale farmers,” says Moisés Quispe, a Peruvian farmer. “The budget for agriculture is reduced year by year, even though over 70 percent of the food that Peruvians consume comes from small farms.”
Quispe is executive director of the National Association of Ecological Producers of Peru (ANPE), which includes 21,000 organic farmers, 60 percent of whom are smallholders.
For ANPE members, the new council represents an opportunity to reach agreements with the state that were never possible before.
According to the 2008 law for the encouragement of organic and ecological production, regional and local governments are to put a priority on providing support for organic agriculture in their plans.
The law also requires Peru’s agriculture development bank, Agrobanco, to grant loans to certified farmers during the period of adaptation to organic production. In addition, the government must provide incentives to promote the production and commercialization of organic products.
Source: Milagros Salazar, “Small-scale Organic Farming Gets a Boost in Peru,” Inter Press Service, January 9, 2014, http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/01/small-scale-organic-farming-peru-gets-boost/.
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