PERU: Apurímac promoting avocado exports


In 2015, the export of Hass and Fuerte avocados from associations of small producers of Huaccana and Ongoy Huaccana, districts with huge potential for the development of this productive chain, generated around $ 2.5 million. The business, supported by Sierra Exportadora in partnership with their local authorities, is becoming a major economic opportunity for Apurímac, one of the five poorest regions of Peru.


Sierra Exportadora’s vision and systematic work have allowed Huaccana and Ongoy, in the province of Chincheros, to currently share a 1,000 hectare avocado production cluster located around the Pampas River Valley; an ideal location for the cultivation of the Hass and Fuerte varieties, whose price in the foreign market may exceed $ 3 per kilo.


The neighbouring districts of Cocharcas, Uranmarca and Ocobamba are joining this value chain, with 200 hectares so far. The potential for avocado production in this Apurimac region is of about 5,000 hectares, which are expected to be developed over the next seven years.


Export window and alternative crop
A major advantage for avocado producers in this area is that the harvest period takes place between the months of December and April, ahead of the Peruvian coast and other major suppliers for the European markets, thus making its export not only viable, but also profitable.


Around 2,500 inhabitants of these districts benefit from the activity, including small producers, marketers and others who are given access to direct and indirect jobs.


Another social advantage worth mentioning is that this job opportunity, especially during the months stated, prevents young people from being forced to go to work as “backpackers” for coca crops in the Vraem area, which borders the territory.


Sierra Exportadora, with productive mayors
Through its programme “Productive Municipality”, Sierra Exportadora provides technical support to mayors Hugo Najarro Rojas (of Huaccana) and Wilfredo Lizana Villanueva (of Ongoy), who have become promoters of avocado production as a sustainable economic activity for their communities.


In both cases, the support of Sierra Exportadora is intended to further improve the partnership between small producers, promote a competitive production and trade, and then consolidate a production and export cluster. To this end, actions are organised by the municipalities and state agencies together with buying companies and certifiers.


Sierra Exportadora is now working with both authorities in the process of implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in order to obtain the Global GAP certification, which will allow producers to export avocados directly to markets in Europe without relying on intermediary companies.


Another form of support from Sierra Exportadora has been the recent coordination to allow mayor Lizana Villanueva to take part in the trade mission Fruit Logistica 2016, which during the first days of February visited the main production and marketing areas in Germany and the Netherlands, seeking to strengthen their knowledge and seek new markets.


It is also worth noting that, in recognition to the efforts and achievements of these municipalities, both mayors received the Productive Mayor 2015 award in the category “Cluster Development” promoted by Sierra Exportadora for the third consecutive year, with an impact on about 80 % of the districts nationwide.


Source: Fresh Plaza

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