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By D. Gale Johnson

Publication by way of Johnson, D. Gale, Hemmi, Kenzo, Lardinois, Pierre

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Extra resources for Agricultural Policy & Trade: Adjusting Domestic Programs in an International Framework

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15 The policy of controlled cotton prices under Velasco was part of a more general strategy of price controls designed to protect the interests of the urban-industrial sectors. Long before Velasco came to power, the prices of most foodstuffs in Peru had already been subject to state regulations. Velasco refined this strategy, transferring the marketing of many foodstuffs to the direct control of the state. From 1969 to the end of his rule in 1975, rice, wheat, corn, potatoes — to name just the most important crops — were marketed by the Public Enterprise for Agricultural Services (EPSA), another state agency involved in domestic and foreign trade.

Rubin, by contrast, is more concerned with the organization of co-operative production. She argues that all important co-operative decisions were still made by the professional administrative staff in co-ordination with the state bureaucracy. She admits that the General Assembly played an important role in co-operative life, but indicates that its sphere of influence was mostly limited to the distributional issues previously dealt with by hacienda unions (such as wages, working conditions, social services) and to such apparently radical, but essentially irrelevant, measures as the dismissal of an unpopular manager (Rubin 1977,1978).

It also occurred between the capitalist and the peasant economy in the cotton areas, with the local smallholders employed as quasitemporary labourers. Generally speaking, these relations remained largely unchanged by land reform. 6 By July 1976, the government had expropriated and transferred approximately one-fifth of the national farmland (6,810,000 ha) to the new owners (Eguren 1977:227; Institute Nacional de Planificacion 1978:32). The three categories of producers to benefit most from land redistribution were the stable hacienda workers, the dependent tenants, and the independent community peasants (see Table 1).

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