Peru is becoming a very relevant freshproducer worldwide; its asparagus, avocado, pomegranate, table grape andblueberry production, as well as its many varieties of citrus are growingincreasingly popular. According to Carlos Enrique Camet Piccone, president ofthe Peruvian Agricultural Guilds Association (AGAP), “in the last ten years,modern product net sales have increased from 250 million dollars to almost 1.5billion.”
The country also has some irrigationprojects that will develop over the next five years which will result in200,000 new hectares for plantations, both in the north and the south. “Two ofthese projects have just started and another two or three will start next year.We also aim to develop the markets and are working hard to expand in Asia,”explains Carlos.
Peru already has trade agreements for theexport of table grapes with 21 Asian countries, but according to Carlos, thereis still the need to reach agreements for other products like mangoes, asparagus,pomegranates or blueberries, not just in Asia, but also other continents.
“We are able to compete head to head withany other grower worldwide in terms of high-tech, irrigation or phytosanitaryconditions. We work really hard to remain competitive and productive in lightof the rising costs of labour and I believe we are doing things the right way.”
At the moment, Europe accounts for about35% of the Association’s exports, shipping directly to countries like Spain,France, the UK or Germany and it has embarked on the process of prospecting newdestinations like Italy or Eastern Europe.
“Ultimately, our goal is to open newmarkets, but it takes time, as there are a lot of politics involved and itinvolves years of work and negotiations. The local market is also growing,despite the fact that we export 90% of the production. We are very aware of theneed to develop the domestic market, just like South Africa and Chile havealready done.”
Regarding the situation created by theRussian ban, the president of AGAP Peru believes that there may beopportunities, as Russia is a huge market, “but you have to know the rightpeople to prevent any potential problems with non-payments.”