Bolivia to Rescue Peru Amid Fertilizer Crisis

Bolivia’s state-owned fertilizer plant will massively boost sales to Peru as President Pedro Castillo faces strikes and mobilizations over fertilizer shortages. The urea and ammonia plant in the Trópico of Cochabamba is set to cover half of what Peru has lost since Western sanctions on Russia began.

Peru’s Agriculture Minister, Oscar Zea, told the press on Sunday that, “We need 1.4 billion Soles [worth of fertilizer]; we have talked with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, where it was agreed that we are going to purchase this from Bolivia. They are close, and they now have 700 million Soles [worth of fertilizer] in available stock.”

Peruvian campesino unions are taking strike action across the country over the rising costs of fuel and fertilizer. Peru imports almost all its fertilizer from Russia which is now sanctioned by the US and the EU. 

During the first quarter of this year, Peru imported 18,000 tonnes of urea. During the same period in 2021, the country imported 190,000 tonnes. The massive shortfall has caused prices to skyrocket. 

Bolivia’s state-owned urea and ammonia fertilizer plant is in the town of Bulo Bulo, Trópico of Cochabamba. It was opened by the government of Evo Morales, but was then closed along with most state industries following the US-backed coup in November 2019. It was re-opened in September 2021 by Luis Arce’s government.

Bolivia’s prosecutor’s office has recently requested an eight-year jail sentence for the coup regime officials involved in closing the plant. Those accused are; Víctor Hugo Zamora, former Minister of Hydrocarbons, and Herland Javier Soliz, former president of YPFB (state gas company). The accused will face justice for the crime of “breach of duties and uneconomic conduct” which is punished with a custodial sentence by the penal code.

To see how a newly strengthened Peru-Bolivia strategic relationship is allowing Bolivia to take its products to overseas markets, read here.

By Kawsachun News

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