Peru's blueberry industry continues to grow. The country currently has 14,000 hectares devoted to blueberry production. According to Federico Beltran Molina, the general manager of Terra Business, this area could increase by more than 40% and reach 20,000 hectares in the next 3 years.
Currently there are productions from Moquegua to Piura, and very active projects in the Sierra de Ancash (Huaraz) and Cajamarca, Beltran said. Of the 14,000 hectares of blueberries planted, 5,000 correspond to the Biloxi variety, 5,000 to the Ventura variety, 2,000 are from the 10 genetic programs in the country, and another 2,000 hectares are of protected varieties. Beltran said that a large percentage of the Peruvian supply has a modern genetic component.
"The Biloxi variety, which was used to start the blueberry industry in Peru in 2011, is rustic and very productive. However, the Ventura variety is twice as productive as the Biloxi variety, which means it takes half the number of people to harvest the same area of Ventura. As a result, producers are using less Biloxi,” Beltran said regarding the varietal change that this variety is facing.
"Peru is using the genetic component to differentiate its production quality, helping bring to an end the stigma that the market had before (in 2012, 2013, and 2014), when people said the Peruvian fruit was acidic," he said.
He also said there were 8,000 hectares of blueberries in Chavimochic and 3,500 hectares in Olmos, an area that next year will have 5,000 hectares devoted to this fruit. "The next few years will be fabulous."