Peru: Any soil can be adapted to grow blueberries
February 27, 2014

According to Adriano Marcuzzo, general manager of the Bestberriesperu Nursery, many of the lands being underused in Peru, in monoculture crops, which use too much water and have a low productivity, could be used to grow blueberries.shutterstock_92059772

He explained that the different soil types could be treated to grow blueberries by controlling the soil’s pH, acidifying the water, and the salt’s conductivity with calcium phosphate. You can practically grow blueberries in sand as if it were a hydroponics system, he explained.

Producers must avoid excesses that can kill the plant; neglect or overprotection (such as over-fertilization) can kill plants, warned the expert.

Exporters are needed
Marcuzzo acknowledged the country’s recent increase in blueberry producing areas, but said that more were needed so that the exporting companies currently engaged with other products would include blueberries in their offer.

"Currently, Camposol and Talsa are the only companies in charge of exporting their production as well as other companies’ production, as they have cold plants, the transportation systems, logistics and markets to do so," he said.

Regarding the forecast numbers for the area, production volume and labour in the coming years, he said that one had to be cautious and see their viability as there have been no business experiences growing over a thousand acres of blueberries in Latin America.

Buying plants carefully
He stressed that producers should be careful when buying plants and should avoid buying them from unscrupulous dealers who import and sell diseased plants or plants with bad genetics.

State support
Marcuzzo said that state support is required to solve some problems and really stimulate the growth of blueberry areas. Among these problems, he mentioned including access roads to production areas so that the cold transport could be done in time and the fruit could be swiftly taken to the export points. He also said that creating processing plants for ten or fifteen acres wasn’t justified as they were needed for many producers and a big production. /Fresh Plaza