Peru's Andes have perfect cherry conditions, claims expert
The Cajamarca and Junín valleys in the Peruvian Andes are ideal to produce top notch cherries with the possibility of harvesting them at a time when no other country can, website Andina.com.pe reported.
This was the claim of Spanish Natur Crex president Antonio Chavero, who is advising the government-backed Sierra Exportadora Peru Berries project about planting orchards in the area.
He said the Andean climate was suited to growing the fruit because it has wet and cold spells which is good for cherries.
A study growing 30 cherry trees in the Namora district of the Andes, 2,000 to 2,500 meters above sea level, displayed ideal conditions for the fruit because it has snowfalls similar to that of the Northern Hemisphere.
Chavero said that like Chile, Peru could grow cherries from November until January and could possibly extend the season to the end of March.
He said if this was the case then it would guarantee Peru worldwide success as no country in the world can currently harvest cherries in March.
Chavero and Spanish agricultural experts are advising Peru Berries on what varieties to plant and which countries to source cherry trees and what type of cold storage to build.
He estimated the cost of producing an acre of cherry orchards in the Andes would be US$10.7 an acre but that the returns would be good ranging from US$2.43 to US$2.73 per lb - the current price paid in Europe.