Colombia’s agriculture minister on Monday announced a $27.3 fund to help the country’s agricultural sector, two weeks after he suspended a subsidy with the same purpose and of the same amount amid fraud allegations.
According to the Agriculture Ministry’s website, the fund is needed to help farmers through this year’s rainy season.
Among other measures is the creation of a COP50 billion ($27.3 million) fund to “protect agricultural exporters against the fall of the dollar and the appreciation of the peso.”
Two weeks ago, Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo suspended the payment of the same amount of money that was meant to compensate flower exporters for the expensive peso.
The subsidy became controversial after media reports indicated that agricultural subsidies were misused by the sector and partly returned in the budget of the presidential campaign of former Agriculture Minister Andres Felipe Arias. This campaign was managed by the current Environment Minister Beatriz Uribe.
The subsidies will be granted by agriculture fund Finagro and the country’s Agrarian Bank, both involved in the granting of the previous subsidies.