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Peru: Lucuma exports increased by almost ten in just five years

Native to the Peruvian Andes, but also produced in Ecuador and Chile, lucuma is a fruit whose unique flavour is gaining followers in and out of Peru. The fruit is rich in fibre, iron and vitamin B3, and increases haemoglobin levels and stimulates the proper functioning of the nervous system. Thus, due to its flavour and nutritional value, the fruit has great prospects. 

The exports of this fruit have grown steadily over the past five years. By 2013 the value of exports reached 2.8 million dollars, almost ten times more than in 2008, when exports amounted to U.S. $297,000. 

The main markets for Peruvian lucuma are Chile, United States and United Kingdom. Chile mainly imports the unprocessed fruit while the other more distant destinations prefer to import the fruit's flour and pulp. The main export presentation, however, is pulp. 

Since the fruit can be grown in different climates, the main lucuma producing areas in Peru are Lima and Piura. Farmers, however, are discouraged about growing it because it grows very slowly. It takes four to five years for a tree to produce, which makes producers opt for other products such as avocado or mango. The National Institute of Agrarian Innovation (INIA) recommends lucuma producers to supplement their production with alternative crops, such as legumes and grains in order to cover expenses until the plants come into production. 


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