Peru minister promises government support

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Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

@mikefruitnet

Peru minister promises government support

Juan Manuel Benitez tells Eurofruit Congress: "We must correct past errors and keep fighting for this industry"

Peru minister promises government support

Juan Manuel Benitez was speaking at the Eurofruit Congress Southern Hemisphere in Lima, Peru

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Juan Manuel Benitez, Peru’s Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, has underlined his government’s commitment to helping the country’s fresh produce business grow, promising help with large-scale infrastructural improvement and fostering the conditions necessary for further private investment.

Speaking at the opening of the Eurofruit Congress Southern Hemisphere in Lima last week, Benitez described the potential for Peru’s fruit and vegetable exports to grow as “huge” and insisted the authorities would do all they could to “add more carriages to the modern agriculture train” in a bid to help producers export more.

“We have to change the future perceptions and introduce substantive change,” he commented. “We must correct past errors. I heard somebody say on the way [here] that investing in Peru is hell. We have to change this. The government will keep fighting for the industry.”

Among the plans in place to boost productivity and improve the investment environment were large-scale infrastructure initiatives such as the Olmos and Majes Siguas II irrigation projects, as well as policies to encourage private investment, Benitez noted.

General elections are due to take place in Peru in 2016, meaning the time available to the present administration is limited. However, Benitez sought to reassure exporters that the right conditions for growth would be secured. “We don’t have much time left, but we hope to establish the way forward for subsequent governments.”

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