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Peru: Lime shortage will be mitigated by imports, but care must be taken

The low production of limes due to drought and the Coastal El Niño phenomenon caused an unreasonable increase of the product's price.

The head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Minagri) José Manuel Hernández Calderón said that he expects that by the second or third week of September the national lime production will have been regulated and with that, the price will normalize.

He also said that, to mitigate the problem, the entry of limes from other countries will be allowed, but stressed that bringing this fruit from neighboring countries like Ecuador and Colombia is more complicated, because in both countries the HunglongBing (HLB) and its Vector are present, a disease that attacks citrus and has no cure. This disease and its transmitting insect (Diaphorina citri kuw) are not present in Peru.

In that sense he said that the Mexican limes, although not like ours, are a possibility, however, sanitary issues are sometimes the main barriers.

"For example in the country's north, when there has apparently been illegal importation (smuggling), the farmers' protest is due to the possibility of introducing a disease," he said.

"We have to be very careful. We have a very important agro-export development. Before one of our main problems was health regulations, one that we are already overcoming. Senasa works very hard on that and we have to be very careful and preserve the market, "he concluded.


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