Peru's national production of fresh mangoes will have fallen by 34% at the end of the 2018-2019 season -at the end of March- when compared to the previous campaign, mainly because of these crops genetics, which predispose them to have alternating years of low and high production; and the difficulty of accessing financing that would allow producers to innovate in their processes.
At the end of this campaign, the production of Kent mangoes will amount to nearly 135,000 tons, estimated Angel Gamarra, the president of the Peruvian Association of Mango Producers (Promango), i.e. 34% less than the 205,000 tons of exportable fruit achieved in the 2017-2018 campaign.
"I estimate that we won't be able to comply with 30% of the export demand. The international market had already been informed that we were not going to achieve the expected production, so customers already knew. There are exporters who promised to send 100 containers, but can only send 70 or 60. That's why mango prices in Ancash have risen appreciably," said Gamarra.
The mango Kent campaign -the principal export variety- begins in October, in San Lorenzo, Piura, and ends at the end of March and sometimes in April, in Casma and Moro. The previous campaigns had high yields and, due to an alternation characteristic of the genetics of this fruit, there was a lower production in the 2018-2019 campaign.
"Kent mango, by nature and genetically, has a high production one year and rests another. Or it can produce for six years in a row and rest the following year. If producers do not apply the right techniques, the mango stops producing. We had a high production for some years and this year there was a substantial drop. Production has gone down in the three production sites: San Lorenzo, Motupe-Olmos, and Casma," he stated.
Mitigating the effects of the genetic tendency of the fruit and maintaining an adequate production every year is possible with technological innovation, which requires financing that many farmers can not access.
"Last year there was no financing from Agrobanco. The financing of the savings banks and the banks costs a lot for agriculture. A part of the producers took money from Agrobanco and I suppose that the lack of this financing affected all the crops, but it really affected the mango sector," Gamarra said.
Nearly 50% of all of Peru's mango production is destined for export and the other 50% is usually marketed in the domestic market, mainly as frozen products. In the previous campaign (2017-2018), Peru produced around 360,000 tons, 205,000 tons of which corresponded to fresh exportable mangoes.
According to the Association of Exporters (ADEX), the main destinations for Peruvian mangos are the Netherlands (US $ 110,284,830 in 2018), the United States (US $ 66,102,190), and Spain (US $ 24,844,628). In 2018, mango exports increased by 40.71%, going from US $194,692,388 in 2017 to US $273,951,292.
The area devoted to the crop will increase in 2019
Currently, there are 24,000 to 25,000 hectares of mango crops in the country and Promango estimates that they will grow 10% to 15% in 2019.
To improve the production of this fruit, Gamarra stated, the Regional Directorate of Agriculture of Piura is promoting a public investment project that will allow hiring the right professionals to provide technical assistance to the farmers of the department, which is the main producer of mango in the country.