Colombia’s Ministers of Interior, Agriculture and Finance presented a new financial plan for the agrarian sector on Tuesday, barely a week before nation-wide strikes are due to start.
Representatives of the government gathered Tuesday morning to discuss subsidy policies, debt refinancing plans and social investments for agriculture, national media reported.
|“There is a group of people telling farmers that we didn’t comply [with the agreements]”|
Interior Minister, Aurelio Iragorri, announced a halt to the seizure of properties belonging to farmers who are in debt to the state.
“No official is able to confiscate the properties or goods of those in their farms or plots because of debts they have with the financial system,” said Iragorri in statement on the Colombian President’s website.
Minister of Finance, Mauricio Cardenas, confirmed this year’s agriculture budget tripled, from $934.3 million to $ 2.7 billion.
Cardenas declared that from the allocated budget, $69.47 million will go to refinancing farmer’s credit, according to Colombia’s W Radio.
The government additionally presented measurements against the illegal smuggling that has been affected farmers livelihood.
Farmers representatives and government met last Thursday to find an alternative to the national strike planned for April 28, but no agreement was made as there are “unanswered requests for full implementation of signed agreements” made in 2013.
Colombia faces the prospect of a second agrarian strike in less than a year, after strikes saw highways blocked, farmers killed and protests across the country.
In his statement, the Minister of Interior claimed that there are a group of people who instigate farmers to strike for political reasons. He said dialog between government and farmers are “on the right track”.
“There is a group of people telling farmers that we didn’t comply [with the agreements],” Iragorri said.
“One protests when he is not heard. Here not only have we listened to them, but we also trying to solve the problems of this sector, which is a big problem and it requires fundamental decisions that need time to be put into effect and we are working on that.”
The national strike is confirmed by farmers from different departments and will take place on April 28 , a few weeks before the presidential elections.
- Gobierno prohíbe embargar bienes de campesinos endeudados con los bancos (Caracol Radio)
- Gobierno intenta desactivar el anunciado paro agrario (RCN Radio)
- Gobierno Nacional busca frenar paro agrario (La W Radio)
- No hay ninguna razón para que los campesinos vayan a un paro, señaló el Gobierno (Office of the President)