Published: Tuesday 15 August 1995

Peru is about to revolutionise its land laws. A new agriculture law introduced, on July 17 by the government eliminates all limits on land-holding throughout the nation. it sweeps away the last remnants of the "land reform" law imposed 27 years ago by the erstwhile left-wing military regime of General Juan Velasco Alvardo.

By ushering in these changes the government hopes to pave the way for largescale investment in high value agro-industrial products for export - particularly in the 2800-krn long coastal strip. Some Congressmen are, skeptical about the move. They fear that the new law may mark the return of the dreaded latifundios (great estates employing semi-feudal labour).

But Carlos Torres y Torres, vice president of the Congress and the chief proponent of the new law is not about to brook any opposition. "It is shameful that only 6 per cent of potentially cultivable land is currently utilised. With modern technology and this new law we can develop productive land in a better manner," he said.

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