Peru remains committed to blueberry growing
November 30, 2012
In the district of Sayán, in north Lima, Peru, is the community of Pichupampa, 2,200 metres above sea level. This place was chosen for the first demonstration plot for blueberry growing of a total of 18 that are to be set up in the country.
The initiative by Sierra Exportadora is aimed at proving that blueberries can be grown in the Peruvian mountains; a fruit with proven medicinal properties considered one of the most profitable in the world.

"In Peru, since we have the opportunity of harvesting and trading in September and October, each grower could make 30 dollars per kilo, which makes the crop extremely profitable. With the advantage that costs are lowering even more, it is definitely an interesting crop," explained Máximo Jiménez, berries expert at Sierra Exportadora.

According to Jiménez, Peru has the right weather conditions to produce the fruit all year long and the advantage of outselling competitors between September and October, when global production lowers.

There are 200 recently planted hectares of blueberries in the country, belonging to important agricultural exporters.

"Blueberries are currently grown in Peru in Cajamarca, Callejón de Huaylas, the valley of Mantaro, Arequipa, Ica, Lima and Trujillo, and we expect to become a large exporter of fresh fruit for the most demanding markets," stated Ernesto Escurra, production manager at La Joyita.

Chile is South America's main exporter and provider of this fruit for North America, followed by Argentina and Uruguay.

"Up to 2012, blueberries have remained the most exported berry, shipped mainly to the US and Europe. Up to 2011, the export volumes reached a value of US$ 84,000. Comparing our figures with Chile's, they have more than 15,000 hectares, but they are 15 years ahead in terms of production and technology," explained Manuel Flores, projects consultant at Industria Alimentaria.

As part of the country's initiatives to turn Peru into a blueberry producer and exporter, Sierra Exportadora announced the creation of the Peruvian Berries Association.

Source: RPP