Organic pesticides boost Peruvian banana performance

January 17 , 2013

Peruvian organic banana plantations have been affected by red spot disease, which carried through small insects mainly damages the appearance and exportable quality of fruit. banana_56870893 small

However, the Piura Center for Small Organic Banana Grower Associations (CEPIBO) has managed to control the pest and thus reduce their losses.

“We still do not have statistics, but there are lots where 20% are affected, meaning a 20% drop in productivity for these plots,” says CEPIBO president Luis Ruiz Medina.

The representative told that until now the pest has been controlled through “the good comprehensive management of cultural work”.

While there is still no definitive antidote, small organic banana producers have developed an organic insecticide based on hot peppers and other bitter herbs, reducing damages down from 40% to 20%.

“Last year CEPIBO achieved around 550 exported containers. The pest in bananas are still not very significant, but it does mean we do not have a prevention plan and that is why we are now working with MINAG (Ministry of Agriculture) on a research project, however this is still in the starting stage,” Ruiz Medina said.

Forecasts for 2013

CEPIBO expects to more than double its weekly shipments this year, going from 12 containers a week to 25. This equates to expectations the group will ship 750 containers his year, with 90% going to Europe and 10% bound for the U.S.

“The next projects are to get new certifications such as HACCP (Hazard analysis and critical control points) to reach more demanding markets, and have more hectares.

“The trend of eating organic products is definitely going up, in America, Europe and Asia, because people are becoming conscious about their own food, and are increasingly looking for more information about the products they consume.”

Related story: ‘We can’t just focus on trade’, says Peruvian banana leader

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