Peruvian Hass avocados will be able to access the Argentine, Mexican and Indian markets in the coming months after having overcome some of the existing phytosanitary barriers currently in place, according to James Bosworth of avocado producer and exporter association ProHass.
He explained that in the case of Mexico – the world’s biggest avocado producer – Peru is able to ship 8,000 tonnes of avocados a year under the terms of an existing Free Trade Agreement.
Bosworth pointed out that Peru did not compete with Mexico’s but was complementary, since its peak production season coincides with Mexico’s low season.
He said there was potential to increase exports to a number of Latin American countries such as Argentine and Mexico, as well as to other markets like India, where negotiations for a free trade agreement are currently underway.
Peru is now the second biggest exporter of Hass avocados in the world, according to the country’s agriculture and irrigation minister, Juan Manuel Benites. Speaking during the inauguration of the VIII World Avocado Congress taking place in Lima this week, Benites said exports now account for 53 per cent of Peru’s national avocado output.
Planted area doubled in 2014, surpassing 30,000ha, while average yields have risen from 8 tonnes per hectare to 12 tonnes per hectare.
“In the past decade, exports have increased from 18,700 tonnes with a value of US$23m, to 179,000 tonnes in 2014 with a corresponding value of US$306.9m, revealing a 13-fold increase in value terms,” Benites said, noting that Peruvian avocados now reached 58 countries including the US, UK, Vietnam and Canada.
Benites also singled out the ministry’s recent success in negotiating access to China and Japan and said exports to both markets were set to reach 5,000 tonnes.
With large-scale irrigation projects such as Olmos, Majes-Siguas II and Chavimochic III now coming to fruition, growers would have a further 400,000ha of irrigated land at their disposal, the minister said.