Colombia’s minister of agriculture estimated there will be between 2% and 4% growth in the country’s agricultural sector in 2011 despite the destruction caused by the rainy season.
Minister Juan Carlos Restrepo said at a forum on rural affairs that “in terms of forecasts we are going to have between 2% and 4% growth.”
Restrepo likened the rural economy to a locomotive train that will start moving after being stuck in the station for three years. In the last three years, the GDP of the agricultural sector ended with zero or negative growth.
The minister said he hoped that activity in the agricultural sector would sustain the same momentum of the last trimester last year when growth was 4.2% so that 2011 would end positively.
Restrepo said on Saturday that 1.6 million acres of farmland had been flooded and added Monday that 160,000 cattle have perished as have 400,000 poultry birds. The minister, however, remains optimistic. “We will succeed; the countryside cannot be left to die,” he said.