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Short end of stick for Peru farmers

Short End of Stick for Peru Farmers

Lima, Dec 5 2007 (Prensa Latina) — Government happiness was contrasted today by the solemnity of agrarian producers after the ratification of the US-Peru Free Trade Treaty (FTT) by the US senate.

President Alan Garcia appeared on television with his ministerial cabinet to celebrate the ratification and maintained that it was an unprecedented event and widely praised the FTT.

According to Garcia the treaty will boost investments of US companies that will settle here and generate jobs and announced that the government will start work immediately to put it into practice.

He also said that the FTT should benefit not only the large companies but also the medium size and small firms as well as the workers and the environment.

He affirmed the ideological character of the FTT affirming that it will consolidate what he called continental democracy and maintained that those who oppose it do so through lack of knowledge and understanding.

For his part, the president of the National Agro Convention (Conagro) Luis Zuñiga, told Prensa Latina that farm producers consider the negotiations of the treaty abysmal because they did not consider the large US subsidies of producers.

He added that, before approval of the agreement, the government should have talked with farm producers to improve their situation and should support them with compensations for the damages the FTT will cause.

He warned that compensation should not be limited to producers of wheat, corn and cotton but for all those affected.

"For us," he concluded, "it definitely is not good news."

 source: Prensa Latina