Peru

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Peru

Peru's gross domestic product in the late 1980s was $19.6 billion, or about $920 per capita. Although the economy remains primarily agricultural, the mining and fishing industries have become increasingly important. Peru relies primarily on the export of raw materials—chiefly minerals, farm products, and fish meal—to earn foreign exchange for importing machinery and manufactured goods. During the late 1980s, guerrilla violence, rampant inflation, chronic budget deficits, and drought combined to drive the country to the brink of fiscal insolvency. However, in 1990 the government imposed an austerity program that removed price controls and ended subsidies on many basic items and allowed the inti, the national currency, to float against the United States dollar.
About 35 percent of Peru's working population is engaged in farming.
Most of the coastal area is devoted to the raising of export crops; on the montañ a and the sierra are mainly grown crops for local consumption. Many farms in
Peru are very small and are used to produce subsistence crops; the country also has large cooperative farms. The chief agricultural products, together with the approximate annual yield (in metric tons) in the late 1980s, were sugarcane (6.2 million), potatoes (2 million), rice (1.1 million), corn (880,000), seed cotton
(280,000), coffee (103,000), and wheat (134,000). Peru is the world's leading grower of coca, from which the drug cocaine is refined.
The livestock population included about 3.9 million cattle, 13.3 million sheep, 1.7 million goats, 2.4 million hogs, 875,000 horses and mules, and 52 million poultry. Llamas, sheep, and vicuñas provide wool, hides, and skins.
The forests covering 54 percent of Peru's land area have not been significantly exploited. Forest products include balsa lumber and balata gum, rubber, and a variety of medicinal plants. Notable among the latter is the cinchona plant, from which quinine is derived. The annual roundwood harvest in the late 1980s was 7.7 million cu m.
The fishing industry is extremely important to the country's economy and accounts for a significant portion of Peru's exports. It underwent a remarkable expansion after World War II (1939-1945); the catch in the late 1980s was about
5.6 million metric tons annually. More than three-fifths of the catch is anchovies, used for making fish meal, a product in which Peru leads the world.
The extractive industries figure significantly in the Peruvian economy.
Peru ranks as one of the world's leading producers of copper, silver, lead, and zinc; petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, molybdenum, tungsten, and gold are extracted in significant quantities. Annual production in the late 1980s included 3.3 million metric tons of iron ore; 406,400 metric tons of copper;

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