Colombia’s agriculture minister called Monday for the urgent repair of rural roads damaged by winter rains.
Agriculture minister Juan Camilo Restrepo Salazar said that the poor state of the roads would harm the Free Trade Agreement recently ratified by the U.S.
“If we do not solve the issue of the tertiary road network quickly, then the Free Trade Agreement will be useless,” said the minister.
At the moment, around 2,600 sections of the tertiary roads network have been damaged by heavy rains or landslide. These roads are crucial to the agricultural industry, as they link the more rural and agricultural areas of the country to the main road networks.
Colombia’s 2012 national budget allocated $200 million for the reparation of sections of the tertiary roads network damaged by this year’s particularly harsh rainy season.
Salazar announced a National Council for Economic and Social Policies (CONPES) to address the issues faced by agriculture, the pending Free Trade Agreement and the disastrous state of the rural roads network.