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Peru: Producers double banana production with a new variety
The small producers of 83 organizations in the region have committed to convert traditional crops, such as rice and corn, to hectares of organic bananas in order to improve their economy.
Currently, thanks to the Organic Banana Public Investment Project (PIP) of the Regional Directorate of Agriculture, the producers have technical assistance from professionals who provide them with training to reduce the presence of pests in their valleys and improve their productivity.
Juan Zapata Quevedo, a producer of the Santa Clara de Macacara Association, was the first person in the Chira Valley to venture into the William variety, leaving aside the traditional banana variety to obtain an improved product.
This new variety not only has a better quality but can double the valley's production from 1,500 boxes (achieved with the traditional variety) to 3,000 boxes per hectare, which would allow producers to supply new market niches.
"We have improved the production techniques and started with a new variety that will improve our economy, thanks to the technical assistance we have received. Now, we are replicating this process with other associations that come for this seed and we will have more variety in the valley," he said.
According to the coordinator of the project, Axel Herrera Seminario, in 2017 the region managed to export up to 126 thousand tons to Germany and the United States, after having complied with their strict phytosanitary measures.
This, thanks to the studies performed in plots to reduce the presence of pests in crops by using homemade products and releasing insects, which allowed them to reduce losses due to the presence of thrips (pests), from 45% to 5%.
"We carried out a baseline study in which we detected the need for controlling pests, that's why we released beneficial insects to control said pests. We have also identified native insects that will help the organic production so that producers don't have to use insecticides," he said.
"We are also working with the early warning system to know the necessary information about the pests and their potential so that we can prevent diseases in time and improve the quality of our fruits to conquer new markets," he added.
Publication date: 1/23/2018
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