Peru’s agricultural exports are set to receive a major boost following the recent completion of the first stage of the Olmos Irrigation Project, which will provide irrigation and electricity for the northern regions of Lambayeque, Piura and Cajamarca.
The scheme was officially inaugurated on 18 November by Peruvian president Ollanta Humala who opened the gates of Bocatoma Miraflores, marking the start of production for more than 43,500ha of agricultural land. Of this, there are still 5,750ha of land available in lots of 250ha and 1,000ha according to Odebrecht, the company behind the project.
According to agriculture and irrigation minister Juan Manuel Benites, it could increase the country’s agricultural exports by as much as US$1bn in the coming years, creating up to 40,000 direct and 200,000 indirect jobs.
“Pieces of land have already been sold. Avocados, quinoa, sugar cane, among other crops will be sown. The project will be a boom,” the minister declared.
The project was funded by a mixture of public and private sector finance. Water transfer works included an investment of US$300m, and the irrigation project is estimated at US$280m.