LatinNews Daily - 25 March 2022

In brief: New funding for farming cooperatives in Peru’s Vraem

* Peru’s agriculture ministry has announced that it will provide funding totalling PEN1.32m (US$353,000) to 40 farming collectives in the country’s main coca growing region, the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro rivers valley (Vraem). The funds were allocated under the Agro Rural programme, which promotes the substitution of coca crops with alternatives. Agro Rural’s director, Rogelio Huamani Carbajal, said that the money would be used to invest in the production of foodstuffs including Andean grains, honey, and livestock, and that the funding would cover up to 80% of the initial up-front costs of small-scale producers. Huamani added that the scheme is part of the ‘Second Agrarian Reform’ pushed by President Pedro Castillo, which he said will promote the formation of farming cooperatives. Castillo’s plans for agrarian reform are beginning to take shape after months of inaction since he took office in July 2021, with the declaration of a state of emergency in the country’s agricultural sector on 20 March.

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