The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Minagri) stated that Peru was the world's leading exporter of organic bananas, according to data from 2018, and that they plan to remain in that position until 2023.
Conventional banana producers might consider producing organic bananas due to the success in its marketing, but how profitable is this crop? Oscar Raymundo, the general manager of the Association of Organic Producers of Querecotillo (APOQ), Piura, provides valuable information in this regard.
Each hectare of organic bananas per year, he said, yields about 32,550 kg of fruit for export, which is equivalent to 1,750 boxes of 18.6 kg each. Each box is currently sold at $ 12.35 in the international market.
However, small producers only produce between 1,000 and 1,200 kg while large plantations can produce up to 2,500 kg.
According to Raymundo, maintaining a hectare costs around S / 16,000 a year. This amount includes the payment of wages for the various tasks required for the production of organic bananas, such as weeding and taking care of the bunch.
It also takes into account irrigation costs and fertilization inputs.
In addition, one must take into account the cost of organic certifications, which in the case of APOQ producers is covered by the organization that brings them together. The organization pays about 40,000 dollars per year for the certifications required to export this fruit, and the amount is divided among the 600 producers that make it up: each one pays about 66 dollars.
Piura, Lambayeque (Olmos), La Libertad (Chepen), and Tumbes are the regions that produce organic bananas in the country. There are some 10,500 hectares of organic bananas in the country, which did not increase in the last year due to the fall registered in 2019.