Peru's politicians talk agriculture in election build-up

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Peru's politicians talk agriculture in election build-up

Peru's five leading presidential candidates have highlighted the importance of agriculture for the country's poverty reduction, employment and productivity strategies, website reported.

Candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stressed the importance of addressing farmers' needs, claiming the majority of Peruvians who are in poverty work in the agricultural industry, the story reported. If elected president, Kuczynski said he would invest in rural education.

Ollanta Humala is currently leading the polls

Candidates Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori agreed the government would continue to support the National Bank's 'Programa Juntos' (Together Program), which encourages allowances and access to banking for people in poverty.

Agraria reported Fujimori would support the 'Programa Sierra Productiva' (Sierra Production Program), which would encourage employment generation and productivity.

Candidate Luis Castañeda said if he were president he would construct a road across the Andes to provide infrastructure benefits to farmers, but Kuczyznski alluded to conflicts that exist in the town Espinar in Cusco over irrigation project Majes Siguas II.

Fujimori criticized the state over an increase in coca leaf production with the use of modern irrigation, and how its led to more drug trafficking, the story reported.

Agraria pointed out a notable absence of discussions about agricultural exports or free trade agreements (FTA).

An Ipsos Apoyo poll shows Ollanta Humala currently leads the presidential race with 27.2% support and Keiko Fujimori has 20.5%, followed by Toledo (18.5%), Kuczynski (18.1%) and Castañeda (12.8%).

Humala is a left-wing politician who led the uprising against former president Alberto Fujimori - Keiko's father - over corruption charges in 2000. In 2006 he ran for president but lost out to Alan Garcia.



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