|Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio. (Photo: Living in Peru archive)|
The renowned Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio said Wednesday that if the state promoted a culture of excellence in small-scale farmers with corn, they may be able to expand their markets and dream one day the world will drink as much chicha morada as Coca-Cola, Andina reports.
He said that while agricultural exports reached great levels in recent years and have helped position Peruvian products such as asparagus, artichokes, avocado and citrus trees in the world, even small-scale agriculture deserves special attention from the state.
"The agricultural industry already knows what to do and the quality controls they must take, but the state must also act to help the small farmer, to make their life easier and help them make their dreams come true," Acurio told RPP.
As an example, he said that in the case of purple corn, research from the National Institute for Agrarian Innovation (INIA) would put more emphasis on developing the culture of excellence that raises the quality of the grain for it to become more competitive and desired.
"Why can’t we dream that purple corn chicha morada is consumed as much in the world as Coca-Cola?" asked Acurio, indicating that this required a complete change of thinking and more political aid to the farmer.
He noted that agricultural exports are perfectly compatible with the small-scale farmer, if the latter is supported with technical assistance to improve their farming systems and irrigation and taught how to connect with other world markets.
He said the most important thing is that the state believes in the famers, make long-term investments in developing small-scale agriculture and promoting access to credit and other resources to improve their situations.