The Chinese government has pledged to step up monitoring efforts in their customs agencies and border controls in order to avoid illegal entry of Peruvian maca, Peru’s Foreign Trade and Tourism Ministry (Mincetur) reported Wednesday.
High-level officials of the Ollanta Humala administration called on their counterparts from China to strength these measures following a television report in which is revealed a smuggling scheme of the much sought-after root.
According to the report aired on Sunday nationwide, more than 2,000 tons of maca have been smuggled out of the country so far this year by Chinese businessmen in complicity with Peruvian farmers.
"Peru defends its biodiversity and categorically rejects the illegal export of maca, as well as damage to intellectual property, therefore, preventive measures for the protection of the flagship product have been taken", Mincetur’s head, Magali Silva, told reporters.
"We have a good relationship with China and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed with the Asian country is going through one of its best moments. We have had the best disposition of the Chinese authorities to enforce the rules," Silva said.
Likewise, the minister pointed out that the Peruvian law prohibiting exportation of maca has been translated into Chinese and will be published in the Chinese official websites in order the rules be known in that country.
Under Peruvian law it is illegal to export maca in raw form that could be viable for planting elsewhere. "The Ollanta Humala administration is fully committed to protecting the country's interests", the Peruvian minister added.