The president of the Cooperativa de Productores de Pitayaha de Piura -which currently includes 17 members who own agricultural properties– Manuel Lizarraga, said the entity had been created to produce pitahaya for export.
One of the partners has a half-hectare demonstration plot where the large-scale planting of pitahaya is investigated and perfected, Lizarraga stated. This fruit, which has a high demand in international markets, was already produced between January and April.
Carlos Talledo is one of the experts who have already been providing technical advice to the members of this cooperative, which are located in Sechura, Jibito, San Lorenzo, Cieneguillo, and Tambogrande with a combined total area of 3.5 hectares for pitahaya production.
According to Manuel Lizarraga, pitahaya production has a high cost, which ranges between 40,000 and 50,000 dollars per hectare.
"We'll be unable to grow without financing," he added. The cooperative already had its first meeting with Agroideas in order to seek financing.
Agroideas could finance the production of 10 partners from a single valley: Tambogrande (Sullana), as it is easier to secure financing by targeting a single location. Each partner would be financed with 60 UIT.
Lizarraga also stated that they had approached a Dutch NGO to seek support in the production and international marketing of their pitahayas.
Juan Castillo Ocaña, head of the regional headquarters of Sierra and Selva Exportadora, said they had already had a rapprochement with the Spanish company MIrafruit so that they settled in Piura to consolidate the production. Mirafruit already works in Ecuador and markets its pitahaya in Spain.