Peru: Leadership is born from varieties

"The new genetics offer qualities that make the Peruvian industry very competitive, in higher productivity, larger fruit sizes, a better sugar-acidity balance, as well as being more resistant to pests and diseases, among others."

Much has been written about the great success of the Peruvian blueberry industry, which surprises us year after year with large volumes of production and exports to the most important markets. It is one of the newest industries on the market, but it has shown great drive, quick learning, perseverance and creativity to adapt the crop to a different climate and practically inert sandy soils.

Peru is currently the undisputed leader in the export of fresh blueberries in the world, although it is an unconsolidated leader in qualitative terms and probably, thanks to the permanent varietal replacement, it can become the industry that sets the standard in the international blueberry market. mainly for its fruit quality and the knock how of his handlings.

Biloxi, a queen in retreat

In 2016, of the 1.118 hectares planted in the country, 58% corresponded to the Biloxi variety, followed by Rocío (18%), Ventura (12%), Emerald (7%) and 5% corresponding to nine other varieties. With Biloxi, the Peruvian industry began a path of expansion of the crop that translated into a growth of approximately 3.000 new hectares planted annually, up to the current 17.943 hectares, in which the Biloxi variety represents 25% with 4.482 planted hectares, only being surpassed in the last two seasons by the Ventura variety, of which there are 6.003 planted hectares, corresponding to 33%, then there are Rocío and Emerald, with 6% each.

A third of new alternatives

What is important in these numbers and their mobility in the last six years is that there are already 5.235 hectares planted with more than 60 new varieties, which corresponds to 29% of the total and increasing rapidly, because the new genetics offer qualities that provide a lot of competitiveness to the Peruvian industry, in greater productivity, more caliber of the fruit, a better sugar-acidity ratio, in addition to being more resistant to pests and diseases among others.

An open-air laboratory

A dozen new varieties are added to the Peruvian offer annually, reaching 65 in the current season, which are quickly evaluated because the Peruvian climate allows the plant to behave practically 60% productively in just one year. of its capacity.

This reality is an advantage for Peruvian producers to know early on the adaptability of the plant, its productive behavior and the qualities and advantages offered by the supplier and the technical sheet that accompanies it. In a certain way, Peru is an open-air laboratory where the new plant genetic offer can be tested and, accordingly, this knowledge can be applied throughout the world, in each interested producing country.

Leadership based on quality

Peru is clearly not just big volumes. The Peruvian industry is about to lead the global blueberry industry in all areas and in the case of the quality of the fruit it can become an unbeatable competitor, by early exploring new genetic alternatives for its production.

The international leadership of the Peruvian industry in the search for fruit quality and the behavior and results of the main varietal alternatives will be some of the topics that will be discussed in depth in the next International Blueberry Seminar to be held in Lima on March 8 and 9 at the Lima CCL Convention Center, where the main nurserymen and companies related to the new genetics of blueberries will be present.

Martin Carrillo O. - Blueberries Consulting

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