Peru: Ica pomegranate growers boost production, conquer global markets
Producers from a farming association in Santa Cruz in the Ica region have been promoting exports of the Wonderful variety with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Minagri).
Minagri's support program, Agroideas, has provided assistance to some 23 growers, the government said in a release.
In 2015 they produced 15 metric tons (MT) of pomegranates but in the current season they hope to produce 60MT. Trees typically take two years to start bearing fruit.
The farmers have managed to export their product to markets including Singapore and Russia through a company called Grinland.
They sell each kilo of pomegranate for US$1.35 and last year generated total profits of approximately US$15,000. They predict that this figure could rise to around US$90,000 this year, according to the release.
In January this year, the farmers also met with Israeli businessmen to discuss future commercial agreements.
Santa Cruz has a tropical climate, and pomegranates grown in the area are typically harvested up to a month earlier than the rest of the country, the release said.
Agroideas invested a total of around US$200,000 in support of the growers. The funds were used to purchase equipment, fertilizer and irrigation systems, and free-range manure.
In addition, the program introduced 39 pieces of advice on good farming practices and funded 14 months of technical assistance for growers.