Colombian President Iván Duque announced on Saturday the addition of 100,000 million pesos (about 32.1 million dollars) for coffee producers with what his Government's aid to that sector in crisis reach 255,000 million pesos (about 82 million dollars).
The coffee sector is one of the pillars of the Colombian economy but the 540,000 families dedicated to this work have been punished for the low prices of grain in international markets.
"The sum of this entire exercise is of the order of 255,000 million pesos when you add up the entire support program, and that shows that there is a great will on the part of the national government," said the head of state during the Country Building Workshop, made in Timbío, department of Cauca (southwest).
Duque recalled that last year the Government announced a support program in the order of 100,000 million pesos, resources that were not implemented because at the end of the period there was a rebound in coffee prices.
However, the president explained that "today those 100 billion are there to meet the needs when we have price shocks."
He added that 60,000 million pesos (some 19.2 million dollars) have been added in the last weeks that "allow many families affected" to be taken care of when the price of the coffee load is below 715,000. pesos (about 230 dollars).
He also announced the contribution of 38,000 million pesos (about 12.2 million dollars) to help the renovation of coffee plantations belonging to small producers.
"These resources are going to allow the renovation of about 50,000 hectares of coffee in the country of small producers, and will have virtually a fertilizer subsidy of the order of one million pesos per hectare (about $ 322)," precise.
The president indicated that the Government's plan includes the implementation of a program to relieve and refinance the debts that coffee growers have with the financial system.
"We ratify this support to the Colombian coffee industry with the support we already have for the price, now with this support to the fertilizer program and in addition to that with the program of relief and refinancing of credits", emphasized the Colombian president.
On the other hand, he said that his Administration will lead in the next Assembly of the United Nations in New York a discussion forum on fair prices of coffee
"In the framework of the Assembly of the United Nations to be held in September, we will promote a discussion forum on the fair prices of coffee and how we can look for sustainable coffee," he explained.
Finally, the president indicated that the Government wants to work with the Congress to identify sources that allow capitalizing the Coffee Price Stabilization Fund, a project that is being processed in the Legislative.