Walkout by Peru’s plant health authority threatens key exports including grapes and avocados

Peruvian avos

The Association of Agrarian Producers Guilds of Peru (Agap) is calling for the government to take immediate action to end a national strike by Senasa, the country’s plant health authority.

Fears are growing that the indefinite walkout, called by Senasa on 24 June in protest against low wages, could threaten exports of key products including grapes and avocados.

Senasa said it has taken measures to ensure the continuity of its operations in the 25 executive directorates and care centres throughout the country.

In a statement, Agap said Peru’s agricultural sector was being seriously harmed by the current crisis, which stemmed from “Peru’s precarious public sector labour system, and the neglect of the authorities for the institution and its workers, reflecting the lack of prioritisation of the needs of this vital organisation for Peruvian agriculture”.

“Despite the important role that Senasa plays in the growth and development of the agricultural sector, it has been weakening, putting its actions at risk, affecting pest control, agro-export programmes, import controls, disease control in plants and animals, among other things, throughout the national territory,” Agap said.

It called on the government to act immediately, to address Senasa’s structural problems and promote its development and modernisation, “strengthening it so that it continues to promote the progress of the Peruvian agricultural sector”.