Peru expects U.S. pepper market access

More News Top Stories
Peru expects U.S. pepper market access

U.S. fresh pepper market access is on the cards for Peru in 2015 with negotiations currently 60% complete, Association of Exporters (ADEX) capsicum committee specialist Jorge Chepote told website capsicum_91210493 - small

"Thanks to the working group Pro-Pepper, integrated by some private companies, the National Agricultural Health Service (SENASA), ADEX, the Peruvian Embassy in Washington, it [market access] has progressed quickly. We have had several meetings with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and there are just small details missing," he was quoted as saying.

He said net house practices were producing yields of 80 metric tons (MT) of peppers per hectare, around double the rate seen in open air production. He added the technology was used by the company Gandules and Pro-Pepper.

"In Ica and Lambayeque we are doing some small tests using net houses to avoid the entry of pests and diseases that attack crops and lead to us not being allowed to enter the United States with fresh peppers.

Paprika setbacks

Chepote said that U.S. authorities had rejected 12 containers of Peruvian paprika - a product derived from peppers - in the last 12 months due to FDA reports of high pesticide residue and mycotoxin levels.

With logistical costs of US$5,000-10,000 per container, these problems have prompted SENASA and promotion agency Promperú to give talks across different growing regions to teach producers about good growing practices.

He said this was important to avoid the industry developing an association with contamination.

"You have to educate the grower. We must be zealous in the use of pesticides and respect the product's instructions. If it is recommended to apply the pesticide 40 days before harvest, it is better to do it 45 days before and not 25 days -as the majority do - because this hurts exports and consumers," Chepote told the media agency, adding that talks would take place in the paprika-producing areas of Piura, Lambayeque, Barranca and Arequipa.

National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA) specialist Karla Peña said that an investigation would begin next year to determine the necessary quantity of pesticides to be used on pepper plantations, with an investment reaching €300,000 (US$401,617) funded by the Science and Technology Program (FINCyT).

The research would take place in Huaral, Lima with results expected to be ready in 2017.


Subscribe to our newsletter