Argentina farmers stage vegetable giveaway to protest low prices

Farmers give away vegetables during a protest at Plaza de Mayo square near the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires, on April 26, 2017

Farmers in Argentina gave away truckloads of vegetables in central Buenos Aires on Wednesday in a protest over low prices for their produce that also highlighted the growing ranks of poor in the country.

Thousands of people lined up for hours in the capital's Plaza Mayor for handouts of spinach, tomatoes and other farm goods -- the second such giveaway this week by farmers.

Some four tons were distributed in the square, close to the presidential palace. Farmers also planted lettuce and celery in a flowerbed.

One farmer who declined to be identified said producers were unable to survive because they were being paid the equivalent of 30 to 60 US cents per kilogram (two pounds).

Inflation in Argentina topped 40 percent last year, and is continuing at a high rate despite promises by President Mauricio Macri to turn around the flagging economy.

More than a third of the population is living in poverty, according to official figures.

Farmers who protested Monday called for a law to rein in constantly rising prices for leasing the land they grow crops on.