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"Peru will have 20,000 hectares of blueberries in 3 years and it will consolidate its leadership in world exports"

Overview of the Peru blueberry season, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.

Original published in on September 17, 2021 

According to the general manager of Terra Business, Federico Beltran Molina, the world has 200,000 hectares devoted to blueberry production, and Peru, which currently has 15,000 hectares in production, stands out as one of the most competitive countries in this global industry. Beltran Molina also said he expected Peru would increase its cultivated area to 20,000 hectares in 3 years, which would allow it to consolidate its world leadership in the export of fresh blueberries.

“The blueberry sector's transformation is due to a positive irruption of many genetic options and new technologies. Peru quickly incorporated new technologies and new genetics. This, together with the country's benign climate, allowed the sector to rapidly learn about the potential of the varieties.” Peru currently has 50 varieties of blueberries installed, coming from 12 genetic programs and 7 clubs (in 2011 it started with 5 varieties).

65% of the blueberry surface in Peru is cultivated with these protected varieties, which is a great competitive advantage for the country, Beltran stressed.

The general manager of Terra Business highlighted that the cultivation of blueberries is no longer concentrated in the country. La Libertad used to account for 90% of exports, now this region accounts for less than 50% of exports. In fact, currently, 12 regions of the country grow blueberries.

“Top leadership companies in this business are increasingly opening up to a model of incorporating third parties and that is a great opportunity for other producers. There is already a learning curve, the engineers of the companies have a high technical level, there is local knowledge and learning; in addition, the new technologies that are rapidly incorporated by grape, avocado, blueberry, citrus entrepreneurs, radiate to other producers of traditional crops, and all this allows this crop to spread to other regions,” he said.

Consumption continues to grow

The blueberry market is growing around the world, Beltran stated. China has doubled its blueberry imports from Peru; The United States concentrates 50% of the Peruvian blueberry exportable supply (and globally it is the target market for 80% of new projects); while the demand in Europe for this fruit continues to grow.

Volumes (in Kg) of blueberries from Peru in the US Market 
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Blueberry is considered one of the healthiest fruits in the world. According to the latest medical research, each person should consume 128 grams of blueberries per day, with the aim of preventing cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's, or diabetes, among other diseases, the expert said.

Growth in the 2021/2022 campaign

According to Federico Beltran, Peru would export around 211,000 tons of fresh blueberries in the 2021/2022 season, i.e. 30% more than in the previous season (2020/2021).

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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