The curfew established in Peru to stop the advance of the coronavirus, which goes from 16:00 to 4:00 in the most affected regions (Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, and Loreto), is affecting organic banana exports.
According to Fernando Moraga, a specialist in organic banana, international shipments have decreased since March and May. Due to the curfew, the packing facilities are only working until 2 in the afternoon, so they can only pack half the volume of fruit they normally pack. "Bananas can't be packed a week later because they will spoil, that's why this has had a strong effect on exports," he said.
According to Moraga, Peru has great potential in the development of organic banana derivatives, which is why it must work to develop that sector. “There are a lot of opportunities to stop delivering raw materials, we must give the product added value. Nowadays the developed markets demand organic banana pulp without preservatives or other alternative products, and not just chips. This is very valuable.”
In addition, he said, there is an opportunity for baby bananas. There are some trials with this crop, which is marketed in niche markets.
The specialist highlighted that Peru is the leading exporter of organic bananas in the world. He also said this achievement was due to the work carried out by producer associations in Sullana (Piura)
Peru exported 60,000 tons from January to April
Fernando Cilloniz, the president of the consulting firm Inform@ccion, pointed out that Peruvian exports of organic bananas in the first four months of this year totaled 60,000 tons, reaching nearly 42 million dollars.
He also said that the country's main destinations of organic bananas between January and April 2020 were the Netherlands, Panama, the United States, Belgium, and Germany, among others.
The main exporting companies in this period were: Agronegocios Los Angeles with nearly 7,000 tons, Cooperativa Agraria Appbosa with more than 5,000 tons, Pronatur with 3,000 tons, Bananica with 3,000 tons, and Apbosmam Agricultural Cooperative with 2,500 tons.
In 2019 Peruvian exports of organic bananas amounted to 221,266,136 kilos ($ 152,342,846), while in 2018 shipments totaled 231,216,891 kilos ($ 166,757,976).