Peru’s thriving blueberry sector
March 23, 2022

Another fruit growing sector in Peru that is seeing rampant growth which is leaving an impact on rural communities: blueberries.

According to statements published in Agraria by the manager of the Peruvian blueberry growers association Proarándanos, Luis Miguel Vagas, from the 2015-16 season through this year, the sector has grown 1,154%, from 12,951 tons produced to 162,459 tons last season.

For the 2021-22 season, through week 8, a total of 218,872 tons have been shipped as of week 8.

This growth has also led to 120,000 new jobs, Vegas said, highlighting that 52% are occupied by women, with an average age of 25-28 years old.

“Peruvian blueberry exports have grown in volume 16 times over in 7 years, creating a huge economic and social impact in the rural communities where it operates,” he said.

The primary receiver of fruit during the 2021-22 season is the United States, absorbing 54.87 percent of the total, followed by the Netherlands, with 22.8 percent and then China, which receives 12.25 percent. 

The planted surface of the crop has also expanded with this pace of growth, from 3,926ha in 2016 to 16,566ha in 2021. Half of this is concentrated in the region of La Libertad, north of Lima. In all, there are some 60 varieties of blueberries planted, with Biloxi accounting for 60 percent.  

Vegas added that its important that blueberry demand continues to grow to sustain the increased supply. He is also one of the confirmed speakers at the upcoming South American Blueberry Convention on April 21, 2022, at the Sun Monticello, located just south of the Chilean capital.