The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published several papers written by Alisha Bower (MPA ’16) while she was an international agriculture intern in Lima, Peru. The papers focus on biotechnology, climate change, and trade issues related to Peru’s agricultural industries as the country’s new president – Pedro Pablo Kuczynski – assumed office.
One of Bower’s papers from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service summarized two events by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation that highlighted the progress made during President Ollanta Humala’s administration (2011-2016).
The overarching theme of both events was water supply, the paper said, adding that under Humala’s leadership Peru invested $177 million in irrigation-related projects, its single largest investment, which has benefited some 315,000 agricultural producers. According to Minister of Agriculture Juan Manual Benites, the paper said, Peru will be the third most affected country by climate change, with many of Peru’s water sources being depleted at a faster rate than they can be replenished.
The impact of climate change was highlighted in the report El Nino and Export Controls Delay Peru’s Avocado Harvest. Warmer than normal temperatures as well as higher humidity and rain in the northern growing area resulted in a bloom drop; while the south-central growing area brought in its avocado harvest earlier than anticipated due to lower than normal temperatures and drier conditions.
vocados destined for the United States represented 27 percent of avocado exports in calendar year 2015, the paper said.
Bower, who will begin work as a Midwest cover crop associate at Practical Farmers of Iowa in January, also reported on two decrees released by President Humala during his final weeks in office. “These regulations do not change any requirements for producers or importers; it simply operationalizes the biotechnology moratorium and related legislation already in place,” the report said.
Bower’s other paper summarized President Kuczynski’s agricultural policy objectives: increasing profitability of agriculture, integrating small producers into the market, sustainable management of soil and water, and sustainable development of forests. The agricultural plan also proposed a technical assistance program and the installation of an adequate irrigation infrastructure in the Andes region. The plan discusses exports only once, and biotechnology policy is not in the plan, the paper said.