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Peru: Fruit and vegetable exports could increase by up to 25% this year

Fernando Cilloniz Benavides, president of the consulting firm Inform@ction, said that this year's Peruvian horticultural exports could be between 20% and 25% higher than what they were in 2013, when they amounted to $1,500 million dollars. 

This growth, he stated, would be due to the positioning of products, such as asparagus, grapes, avocados, citrus and mangoes, in international markets, and the new star products of the agricultural-export basket, such as blueberries and pomegranates. 

"Agricultural exports will remain dynamic. There are more and more people in big cities around the world and the farmers will live in an era of high prices with high demand for fruits, vegetables and foods that are healthy as is the trend" he said. 

Cilloniz Benavidez spoke about the investment being made by the regions of the Peruvian coast and Ica, Piura, Lambayeque, and Arequipa in the sector and emphasized that these regions were growing very dynamically. In addition, he also spoke highly about the mountainous regions were the quinoa was being grown. 

According to Cilloniz, this year the table grapes would be the country's main agricultural export product. This season (2014/2015), he said, shipments of table grapes will increase 50% when compared to the previous season (in which they amounted to USD $526.3 million). 

"I am convinced that Peru will lead the world rankings of table grape exports in the very short term displacing our southern neighbours," he said. 

Cilloniz also said the challenge for the sector was to manage water better, for which they required to reallocate the water from areas were there was plenty of water, such as the eastern slope, to the Pacific slope, as was done in Olmos and is being done in Majes. 

In this regard, he said, they could use the water form the Pampas River from Ayacucho to Ica, as is the plan in the Pampas Verdes Project, which would help them irrigate 200,000 hectares of uncultivated land. 

"We should perform projects of this magnitude as well as smaller ones, such as the Indahuasi project, so that we can have a truly green coast", he said. 

Cilloniz said that another challenge the sector had to overcome to continue growing was related to the plant health because the Peruvian coast had many plagues and there were currently many trade barriers related to this issue worldwide. 


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