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"We're about 6 to 8 years away from having the potential to compete against Chile's cherry"

Gabriela Mercedes Crespo, head of research on new crops at Agualima SAC and a researcher at Concytec, said that despite the lower number of cold hours, cherry studies were mainly being held on the northern coast of Peru. The mountains have better cold hours, but they have rainfall and frost limitations, as well as a lack of good roads which increases the logistical complexity of carrying out studies there.

"Cherry trees require 18 to 24 degrees in their productive stage, more than 50% humidity, and good root growth in loam or sandy loam soil. Depending on the variety to be studied, a cherry tree needs 400 to 900 cold hours and 600 to 800 hours of solar radiation," she said during her participation in the 12th edition of the PEC Cherry Conference, held in the Chilean region of O'Higgins.

There's been good sprouting and root growth in the trials that are being carried out, but the flowering and curdling process is still not very good. In addition, pollen viability is low, as in the Lapins variety, which reaches 58%, and in other varieties with even lower viability, so there's still more research needed.

Agualima also started a cherry project with Colt and Acid patterns, and various varieties, a year and a half ago. According to Mercedes Crespo, in this project, they must establish that phenological management is now conditioned by climate variability because of this year's El NiƱo phenomenon, which changes some parameters. However, she stressed, that all initiatives of this type in Peru are already learning about care and applications, as well as pollination techniques and carrying out tests with more varieties thanks to nurseries that now have this portfolio.


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