Busy Technical Tour visited MBO blueberries in the dunes of Paracas

“How could it be that these people have adapted cultivation to that climate?”

As a preamble to the meeting of the international blueberry industry, which was held in Lima this March 20 and 21, on the occasion of XXIX International Blueberries Consulting Seminar, a commercial technical tour was carried out to the blueberry fields of the Family Farms Peru company, which is dedicated almost exclusively to producing and exporting blueberries of the Mountain Blue Orchard (MBO) varieties.

In the dunes of the California desert, inside the town of Paracas, south of Lima, in Peru, are the facilities of Family Farms Peru, agricultural company that leads John Paul Bentin. It is a 1.590 hectare farm that, like Valle and Pampa, began cultivating pomegranates and asparagus in 2010, being pioneers in 2011 in venturing into blueberry cultivation in the desert and the Peruvian coast with trials. Beginning a long process that ended up establishing them as a productive company in 2016 with old varieties, such as Biloxi and others.

“It was a long and sacrificial process, which allowed us to write our own book on local blueberries,” says Juan Pablo Bentín.

Then in 2019 they partnered with the company Family Tree Farms and Family Farms Perú was founded, starting a production project for Australian MBO varieties, of which 400 hectares have already been implemented in the last three years and are preparing to expand to 200 hectares. more this year 2024. The project is to produce the Eureka varieties, which have qualities premium both in flavor and size.

“We are very focused on producing quality fruit efficiently, taking advantage of the premium that the genetic profile represents. These varieties are very good and are not so sensitive to the abrupt movement of supply in the market, which is crucial today to be successful in this business,” concludes Bentín.

International researchers

Several of the specialists who will be at the International Blueberries Seminar participated in the tour, along with foreign producers and technicians. The renowned Mexican researcher Daniel Diaz, was one of the participants in the Tour to the fields of Paracas and took the opportunity to explain on the ground and in detail to the Family Farms technicians and other participants, the advantages of the pit in controlling the root management of the plants, digging, showing and explaining the different readings that emerge from the observation of the exposed root and the actions that must be carried out to ensure good root behavior of the crop.

What did you think of the tour?

Very interesting, I think that several disciplines came together today, which allows us to exchange and learn more. We all learn from other disciplines, both technical and production, and I believe this is part of the mutual benefit that exists in our field. I appreciate the opportunity to have done it and to have participated in it. Daniel Díaz is Director of Research at Agroenzymas and will speak on: “Fundamentals and use of bioregulators in blueberries in the face of climate stress.”

In the case of the Spanish specialist, Miguel Ángel Cuevas, his surprise at the trip was greater since he never imagined that in the middle of the desert and in the middle of the dunes this delicate fruit could be grown with such efficiency.

“It strikes me that you leave the road, drive 15 minutes and arrive at a desert where there is nothing but dunes.” “I am curious as to how it could be that these people, who are doing this with the methods and techniques they use have adapted the crop to that climate. With a very open mentality, very innovative, without fear of trying, with the desire to learn through practice” “In addition, today I was surprised at almost the same level of production, the level of quality of the people who run the field,” they are some of the opinions of the Spanish rapporteur who will present on “Irrigation strategies to optimize resources: energy balances and development of biomass in blueberries.”

Blueberries Consulting

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