Chile and Peru discuss agroexport common front
The idea of a common agroexport front between Chile and Peru is growing in local agricultural circles, with goals to provide higher international supply and confront shared challenges like water and labor concerns. Industry leaders recently met for talks at the annual Agrofórum event in Peru where the proposal took hold.
Chile and Peru's avocado seasons make the perfect example of a complementary supply chain, with the Chilean season running from March to August, when Peru then starts harvesting the fruit until February.
Fernando Cillóniz, who heads up Peruvian industry and market information institute Inform@cción, tells Freshfruitportal.com the common front would be both a 'logical' and 'natural' step, not just because of complementary harvests but also because of opportunities for cross-border investment and business.
"It's already happening and what we want is to strengthen and steamline this relationship - we are grateful to the Chileans because really the development of Peru's fruit-growing and horticulture owes a lot to Chilean technological support and experience. They have always been present and have always been helpful," he says.
Santiago-based iQonsulting executive director Isabel Quiroz also supports the idea and recommends a study into product quality in various zones of Chile and Peru, in a bid to generate brands and enhance promotional campaigns for the two countries.
"Peru and Chile have a lot of complementation, above all because they are looking to offer the same quality, and our grapes have the same quality," she says.
Cillóniz emphasizes the need for greater water efficiency with more infrastructure investment, citing Brazilian-led trans-Andean project Olmos that will pump water through a 20km (12.4 mile) tunnel, opening up farming opportunities for 38,000 hectares of new land in Peru.
The project comes in addition to another in southern Peru called Majes Siguas, involving a network of reservoirs, tunnels and canals to irrigate around 60,000 hectares of new land. It is expected the project will generate jobs and wages for around 435,000 people.
At the Agrofórum event, Chilean Exporters Association (ASOEX) president Ronald Bown said workplace issues were another important subject facing Chile's industry, which faced a shortage of workers.
Bown told the forum about efforts underway to encourage workers to stay in the agricultural industry and avoid labor movement towards other areas of the economy. He said to do this it was essential to improve remuneration, working conditions, stengthen incentives and promote dialogue between employees and employers.
Related story: Trans-Andean tunnel to pump water to Peru's farmers