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Julio Velarde: “It is a very bad year for agriculture, the worst in the last 26 years and it could be worse”

The agricultural sector will face the worst scenario in the last 26 years due to the damage caused to crops as a result of weather events. This was announced by the president of the Central Reserve Bank, Julio Velarde, during his presentation to the Budget Commission of the Congress of the Republic.

In the presence of the commission’s congressmen, Velarde commented that the fall in the agricultural sector in the first semester (-3.4%) is the strongest since 1997.

“What we are seeing is that the higher temperature is making the yields [de los cultivos] are minor. It is certainly a very bad year for agriculture. The worst in the last 26 years and it could be even worse”Velarde remarked.

With the fall of agriculture in July, the sector has been in negative territory for six of the seven months in 2023. Only in July was the drop in the production of products such as paddy rice (-21.97%), which decreased by 76 thousand tons compared to the same month in 2022, due to smaller harvested areas and unfavorable weather conditions due to the influence of the phenomenon. “The Coastal Child.” According to the INEI, the crop was affected in the maturation phase.

Asparagus, the flagship product of agricultural exports, also suffered a drop in production of -22.9%. As detailed by the INEI, 31 thousand tons were reached: 9 thousand tons lower than what was reached in July 2022. The regions that showed lower production were Ica, Lambayeque and Áncash.

Meanwhile, onion production decreased by 13.78%; also due to a smaller harvested surface area and influenced by unfavorable weather conditions. Arequipa, La Libertad, Cajamarca, Lambayeque and Tacna saw setbacks in their harvest.

“The El Niño phenomenon, in terms of high temperatures, is affecting crops on the coast. Which is the richest in agriculture and we have also had droughts in the south. Obviously that’s hitting. Even agro-export crops: blueberries, mangoes, grapes, asparagus,” Velarde stated.

Beyond the coast, in the Andean region there were significant decreases in the minimum temperature with occurrences of meteorological frosts; while in the Amazon there was the seventh cold of the year.

These are factors that would have struck regardless of who is in the Government. It is true that we could have reacted better, but it is a public management problem that has failed us everywhere over the years”stressed the president of the BCR.


Gabriel Amaro, president of the Association of Agricultural Producers Guilds of Peru (AGAP), warns that what the president of the BCR said is already being felt among companies in the agricultural sector. “Thousands of hectares have been lost. Productivity has dropped dramatically in some crops in the north and is affecting crops in the local export market. The increase in costs and cost overruns are being observed, and in light of this, regulation is also suffocating.”said.

He asserted that given the current agricultural legislation, it includes cost overruns not based on productivity and a regulatory approach that is not appropriate for the agricultural sector. “Today we have no investments in the agricultural sector that have translated into smaller crop areas. “The margins have been reduced and the samples are vulnerable to a complicated climatological phenomenon such as the global Niño”he asserted.

Amaro told El Comercio that he held a meeting this Tuesday with the Minister of Agriculture, Jennifer Contreras, who already became aware of the demands of the sector and the measures that must be taken immediately to face the sector’s scenario.

Source: Elcomercio

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