Colombia’s Agriculture Ministry and representatives of striking farmers came to an agreement on Monday on the refinancing of the outstanding debt, negotiators confirmed.
Agriculture Minister Ruben Dario Lizzardo and leaders of farmers organization Agriculture Dignity succeeded, after a 10-hour meeting, to concur on the issue of undischarged dept, the ministry announced.
Approximately 80,000 farmers will benefit from the agreement, according to the ministry.
The benefiting farmers have debts exceeding $10,000 and will be allowed to pay their loans without interest.
The refinancing will be carried out for 10 more years and it will cost the state approximately $ 156.1 million.
According to the ministry, one of the most important things of this agreement is that apart from the fact that the farmers will be eligible for credit again, the refinancing will give sufficient time for producers to recover economically and honor their debts.
Other pending proposals made by the government in order to put an end the national strike include subsidies for cocoa and rice.
Bogota wants to increase the subsidy for cocoa producers from $0,26 to $0,42 per kilo and expand the period for rice farmers to claim subsidies to March 2015.
Lizzardo and representatives of the Agrarian Dignity continued negotiating lifting the strike on Tuesday.
The nationwide agrarian strike is on its 8th day and it turned violent over the weekend in the southwest of the country.
The strike is the second in a year; In august last year, the farmers also laid down work demanding improved economic conditions. Promises made to end last year’s strikes were never honored, the farmers said.
- MinAgricultura y Dignidades acordaron la refinanciación de deudas de los campesinos (Agriculture Ministry)
- MinAgricultura reconocerá $800 por kilo de cacao como apoyo a la comercialización del producto (Agriculture Ministry)
- Acuerdo de MinAgricultura con molineros garantiza de manera inmediata la compra de toda la produccion de arroz (Agriculture Ministry)