Youth of Peruvian avocado industry has helped it to be more water-efficient, says industry rep - FreshFruitPortal.com

Youth of Peruvian avocado industry has helped it to be more water-efficient, says industry rep

Peru is a country that stands out for having an agribusiness with a high-tech irrigation system and a set of irrigation projects that will significantly increase its cultivated hectares in the coming years. 

Daniel Bustamante of ProHass Peru told FreshFruitPortal.com that being relatively young in the industry has given them an advantage over other countries. Peru came into the industry when much more efficient irrigation technology had already been developed. 

“The avocado industry of Peru is relatively new and has been taking advantage of the latest available technologies,” he said.

He highlighted that “there is a high level of automatization in avocado groves.”

According to Bustamante, the agro-export and agro-export crops in Peru began almost from scratch at a time when modernized irrigation systems, particularly from Israel, were extremely advanced.

“The technologies that there were on hand in that moment were quite modern. The structural foundation of the projects started with that,” he said.

According to him, had it been 20 years earlier, there would not have been access to that established foundation, which probably would have influenced the current state of things.

Other countries that started earlier had to upgrade to new technologies, modifying structures and modernizing, which is costly, he explained.

He added that many of the projects are able to help generate an entire advanced irrigation industry for large, medium and small industries,” he said.

He clarified that Peru’s water resources are different from other countries; who have also been taken into account.

“We must remember that in Peru, we have quite extensive irrigation systems, which are based specifically on water that previously went to the sea or to the Amazon Basin. 

“So, in that sense, it is a scenario that is quite distinct from others, and thanks to long-term investments, it is now paying off with an assured normal water supply; but that does not mean that the supply isn’t affected in years like this one, a year with a drought.” 

2020 season 

Regarding the current avocado season, Peru should be closing in on 365,000 metric tons (MT) exported, said Bustamante.

He commented that it was a season with many logistical and occupational challenges because they began with the Covid-19 dilema.

“The avocado was already ready, it was hanging in the trees, now it was the issue of how to efficiently manage the issue of Covid-19, with restricted working hours and mobility”, he pointed out.

He said that, in addition, the entirety of the market dynamics changed and “it had been a year of a great deal of learning as well as challenges”.

He added that, while there had been an impact on prices, he attributes that to supply.

“It has been a year where Peru has had significant growth, Mexico has had significant growth, as well as California, South Africa and Colombia."

“So all of the competing countries in this area, call it the summer of the Northern Hemisphere, have had all kinds of substantial growth,” said Bustamante. 

The last avocado exports are expected to be shipped during October.