Peru and COVID19: My Experience in Peru

Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country located in South America. The country is in news because of COVID19 as up to 25 July 2020, total coronavirus cases were 375,961 and unfortunately 17,843 persons passed away because of COVID19. I was in Peru in May 2013 for academic activities, invited by them.

   Peru has a total land area of 1,379,999 square kilometers and a total water area of 5,000 square kilometers with total population of 3.2 crores (2018). . Lima is the capital of Peru. In 2017, 79.3 percent of total population lived in urban areas and 20.7 percent were in rural areas.

  I observed the people of Peru want a healthy trade relation with India. I could meet few Peruvian friends in Peru who visited India opined that by developing trade relation both would be benefitted. The tourist places like Jauja city, Mantaro Valley, the Andean highlands, Junion region of Tarma city etc., can be compared with our places like Shillong, Shimla or even Tirupati. In Tirupati many people offer their hair and similarly in Acobamba of Peru where Church (Catholic) is located near a foot hill many people of Christian faith in the stones of the hills pour whisky or rum or other alcoholic drinks to fulfill their desire or if desire is fulfilled. In addition near the Church people lit candles. I enjoyed as all religions lead to Almighty/God and I prayed my own way.

  Both India and Peru are having huge scope to develop trade relations. While going by air from Lima to Jauja town, an engineer sat beside me and was happy to know I am Indian and he was in the opinion that trade between India and Peru may be invigorated. Our technology, engineering goods, transport items including railways, IT, agriculture extension service, etc., may be exported to Peru. On the other hand, products like organic cotton (super quality), and agricultural goods like native variety potato, maize of soft variety, artichoke, asparagus , avocado etc., may be imported from them and subsequently may be grown in India as these are having huge international market. Regarding organic cotton case of Oro Blanco may be referred which is a joint venture between the Dutch ecumenical development agency Solidaridad and farmers in Peru. Oro Blanco supports 71organic cotton farmers in Cañete and Chincha Valleys on about 275 hectares of organic land. The farmers grew other organic crops on their land as well as cotton, which were fetching good price. Oro Blanco supplied organic cotton to socially responsible local manufacturers that export organic garments to fashion brands and thus market was assured. It is pertinent to mention that each farmer owned around 4 hectares of agricultural land in the Cañete and Chincha Valleys and produced on an average of 55 quintals per hectare of seed cotton. So such type of crop may be promoted in India if feasible. Both India and Peru should try to develop economic relation and exchange knowledge, ideas, skill vis-à-vis goods. The farmers of both the countries are endowed with enormous knowledge and skill which may be shared for development of both the nations.

 The Agriculture Minister of Peru took lot of interest while I informed about our Kisan Credit Card, Kisan Call Center, etc. of India.

Lastly it may be mentioned that in 1968 the Peruvian military led a bloodless cup of power headed by General Juan Velasco Alvarado.  One of the main objectives was the implementation of an agrarian reform which inter alia, included redistribution of land to peasants/former workers so that they can lead quality life not like slaves.

 I suggest not only with Peru but with all other countries of South America wherever feasible trade relation may be developed by India.

Dr. Shankar Chatterjee

Former Professor& Head (CPME)

NIRD &PR (Govt. of India),

Hyderabad-500 030

Telangana, India

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