Coffee farmers to join new agricultural strike on April 28

Posted on Mar 25 2014 - 6:58am by Rico
(Photo: Vanguardia)

Colombia’s coffee farmers on Monday announced they will lay down work to demand better conditions in a national agrarian strike — the second within a year — to be held on April 28, less than a month before the country’s presidential elections.

The press release was made public at a villa in the municipality of Cordoba, Quindio, when the representatives of their coffee workers’ movement announced that they were calling for strikes in a month’s time by all the agricultural labor unions of Colombia, to be led by Dignidad Cafetera.

The announcement highlighted that since the mass nationwide strikes that took place last August and September, the outlook for the country’s farmers has not changed, newspaper El Colombiano reported.

According to the press release, no real agricultural policy has been defined by the government guaranteeing the protection and reinforcement of the sector, or its establishment as a pillar of the Colombian economy.

Orlando Beltran, a spokesperson for the country’s coffee workers, highlighted the need for the government to fulfill the commitments it made in previous pacts, which were marked the end of last year’s strikes.

The strike should envelop all agrarian sectors throughout the country.

“All farmers should support us regarding the payment of the PIC [the Protection for Coffee Workers' Income government project] that has been pending since 2013; and also regarding buying of a fund for small-scale farmers,” Beltran said.

Other demands by the agricultural community are for the government to implement clear policies against contraband, an illegal practice that is crippling to farmers, and a reduction in fertilizer prices

The agreement was signed by the delegates of Dignidad Cafetera from the states of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío, Valle, Cauca, Nariño, Huila, Tolima, Santander, Cesar, Magdalena and Cundinamarca.


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