The government of President Gustavo Petro seeks to boost Colombia’s agriculture sector with a significant increase in government subsidies.
Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo asked Congress to double public spending on agriculture as part of the government’s revised 2023 budget proposal.
The budget commissions of the Senate and the House of Representatives approved the revised budget, which requires the approval of both houses before Thursday.
One of the most significant revisions is the budget for the Agriculture Ministry, which would have a $900 million budget instead of the $450 million that was proposed by former President Ivan Duque.
If approved, the government would have a budget of $91.2 billion (COP405.7 trillion) next year.
Earlier this week, Petro said that his government would seek a temporary subsidy on fertilizers to curb soaring food prices.
The United Nations warned governments in Latin America and the Caribbean earlier this year about a reduced supply in fertilizers as a consequence of war in Eastern Europe.
Exports from Russia, one of the world’s largest producers of fertilizers, collapsed after that country invaded Ukraine in February.
The Petro administration additionally seeks to boost Colombia’s “food sovereignty” by stimulating the domestic consumption of locally produced agriculture produce.
Colombian farmers have complained for more than a decade that they can’t compete with imported foods from countries where agriculture is subsidized.