Peru: Promising future for blueberries

Peru’s blueberry businesses are moving forward. Last year, exports reached $28 million dollars, i.e. 60% more than in 2013. The increase was even greater in terms of volume, as it went from 1,800 tons in 2013 to 3,400 tons in 2014.

In this regard, the general manager of Terra Business, Federico Beltran Molina said this sustained growth had enabled the country to position itself as one of the leading suppliers of blueberries in the southern hemisphere for the next few years.

“Growth has to be consistent and in line with the genetic improvements developed over time. We can’t massively produce blueberries overnight because we could lose the ability to achieve a level of genetic differentiation in the southern hemisphere,” he said.

In this regard, he said, if we work with the right genetics, Peru could reach 7,000 acres of blueberries in the next seven years.

According to Beltran Molina, since Peru is the youngest player in the industry (as it started cultivating blueberries 30 years after Chile, 20 years after Argentina and 15 years after Uruguay and Mexico) it had the advantage of entering the market with genetic support, which didn’t exist before.

He also said that Peru could introduce new berries to its agricultural export basket, such as cherries, raspberries and blackberries, but that there would be strong competition with the products of the region. “While this can be a great opportunity, we have to take the right steps, just as we did with the blueberries.”

Fruticia 2015
The coordinator of the II International Symposium on Super Fruits of Peru (Fruticia 2015), an event that will take place on March 4 and 5 at the Institute of Mining Engineers of Peru, spoke about this important event.

“Fruticia is a great opportunity to obtain relevant information from the global industry leaders regarding technical, genetic, and trade issues, among others,” he said.

This year, he stressed, important personalities, such as William Jones, US Agricultural Consultant who will speak about the importance of soil cultivation and proper preparation, will be present at the Symposium.

He also noted that David Brazelton, from Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, would also be a speaker at the symposium and would present the latest research and applications in blueberries.

The Symposium will also focus on the commercial side of blueberries and there will be first-hand information on the markets in the US and Europe and their blueberry consumption. The potential for processed berries, among other topics, will also be discussed.

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