Peruvian president scores ag minister hat trick
Peruvian president Ollanta Humala has appointed the third agricultural minister of his first term in office, as part of another cabinet re-shuffle in response to low approval ratings and violent anti-mining social conflicts.
The last agricultural minister change was in December when Luis Ginocchio Balcázar sworn in, but the food industry veteran was only in the job for seven months before being replaced on Monday.
The role now belongs to Milton von Hesse La Serna, who has been the executive director of government investment body Proinversión since February.
Von Hesse worked at the Ministry of Economy and Finance for a decade, of which seven years were spent as a specialist in agricultural and rural development. He has also served as an expert in the agricultural development unit at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL).
Inform@cción president Fernando Cillóniz told website Agraria.pe von Hesse was a “professional who understands the risks and value of doing business”, but expressed concern that changing cabinets so frequently meant ministers did not have enough time to prove their management skills.
“The problem or the solution is not people, but teams. Von Hesse could be an excellent minister if he is given time, but if ministers are changed every six months, unfortunately the teams change too and we do not progress,” he was quoted as saying.
“I don’t think it was particularly necessary to change for a new minister.”
Cillóniz said the priority of the new minister ought to be to strengthen the National Agricultural Health Service (SENASA), as it is “not keeping pace with the sector’s growth and requires more resources”.
“I know that von Hesse understands the value of infrastructure, and the value of knowledge and education in agriculture, and above all in difficult agriculture like the highlands.”