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The arrival of new raspberry varieties from different breeding programs could open new options for Peru

Even though the cultivation of raspberries has been promoted in Peru in the last decade, the production of this fruit did not continue to expand (there are currently less than 100 hectares in Peru), mainly because there was no renewal of the plant material for more productive and better-adapted varieties, stated Dr. Marina Gambardella, a researcher at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

"During the pandemic, several producers decided to replace their raspberry surface with another crop," stated Jose Cordero, international advisor and berries specialist. In Cajamarca, for example, producers changed this crop because transporting the freshly harvested fruit was a key issue, as it does not have a long post-harvest life, he said.

The arrival of new varieties from different breeding programs could open up new options for better quality fruit, which could be adapted to coastal or mountainous areas.

In the coastal areas of the north, various farmers and companies are testing new raspberry varieties to diversify production beyond the Heritage variety. To achieve this, they have introduced day-neutral varieties with a low cold hours requirement.

"These new varieties have very good prospects. We expect an expansion of this product in the near future, both for the national market and the export market," Dr. Gambardella stated. "We know that some companies have introduced the Santa Clara and Santa Catalina varieties of Chilean origin, the Adelita variety (Planasa, from Spain), and the Kwanza and Kweli varieties (Advanced Berry Breeding -ABB, from the Netherlands)," the specialist stressed.

In addition, Cerro Prieto and Hortifrut are testing the adaptability of new varieties that have a higher production, which could reach and even exceed 20 tons/hectare, she added. "The interesting thing is that the raspberry varieties that are arriving in the country can also be grown on the coast, where there is a lower accumulation of cold," she said.

To date, Peruvian raspberries have only been exported in small samples to different countries. However, this situation could change if the product enters the United States, the main partner of Peru's agro-export sector.

If this is achieved, Peruvian agricultural exporters would have as their main competitor Mexico, which concentrates 99% of raspberry purchases in the US market, with sales that in 2020 exceeded 1.52 billion dollars.



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