The impact of the El Niño phenomenon on Peruvian agriculture and agro-exports is already starting to be noticeable. In Piura, 90% of the mango and lemon trees have lost their blossoms. Fruits such as grapes, blueberries, and bananas are also affected, albeit to a lesser extent. As a result, up to 100,000 jobs could be at risk.
"There is no mango on the fields. The plants are beautiful, but they have no fruits. Thus, there's no need for field work or to hire people," stated Javier Bereche, the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Production of Piura.
Piura is only one example of the impact that the El Niño phenomenon is having, but the south of the country will also be affected by droughts. In Arequipa, 40% of agricultural production is at risk due to the lack of water in the regulated basins, stated Daniel Lozada, president of the Agricultural Society of Arequipa.
According to Rafael Zacnich, Comexperu's manager of economic studies, agricultural exports between January and July of this year fell by 3%; in July alone, they fell by 9%. “We don't see a change in this trend. Grapes, blueberries, and avocados could be the most likely affected products in the second half of the year, as that's when exports of these three products -the most emblematic products of our agro-export basket- are concentrated," he stated.
It's worth noting that in 2017, when the Peruvian north was devastated by the Niño Costero, Piura had losses that amounted to S/ 10,000 million, an amount equivalent to half of its yearly production.
Source: RPP / agraria.pe