Record season for Peruvian avocados with 14% growth

Record season expected for Peruvian avocados with a 14% production increase

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Record season expected for Peruvian avocados with a 14% production increase

The Peruvian avocado industry forecasts a total of 630,000 tons in production for this season, a 14% year-on-year increase.

The president of the Peruvian Association of Hass Avocado Producers (Prohass), Juan Carlos Paredes, spoke with about the projections of a record season, the reasons that have led the industry to take a leap in production, and a look at future challenges.

"The official projection for this year is that we will export 630,000 tons, which are concentrated between March & August and we expect a steady flow of containers, hopefully, no more than 500 to 600 containers a week,” said Paredes.

One of the main causes of the productive increase in the Peruvian avocado industry, in Paredes's opinion, is the incorporation of 24,000 new producers, covering approximately 20,000 hectares. These growers have a maximum of two productive hectares, with a yield between 2 to 8 tons, which did not exist before.

"This is in addition to the production of medium and large companies, ranging from 2 hectares to more than 40,000 hectares, which have advanced irrigation and fertigation; an industry that currently has a per-hectare yield of at least 14 - 16 tons."

Paredes attributes the increase in production "to the increase in production costs because everyone has sought efficiency and that translates into better use of all resources. In the end, the effect is to increase productivity."

He also highlighted the contribution of the use of technology, "probes and satellites have been incorporated, which have improved the advice in the fields. And now one can just break the balance of the business between 18 - 20 tons per hectare.

Peruvian avocado exports

According to official data from Prohass, for the current season, they plan to export approximately 630,000 tons. Paredes indicated that "our main destination is Europe, followed by the United States, Asia in third place and South America, mainly Chile and Argentina, in fourth place."

In this respect, he pointed out that they are working together with different marketing organizations in different markets, "because in Europe and the United States, although consumption is high, there are states where consumption is still low and we are working on this".  

He also added that in the current campaign, they will carry out marketing actions with Asian supermarkets, specifically in Japan and China.

He added that they also seek to promote avocado consumption in the domestic market, "because Peruvians consume a lot of avocados, but with green skin and we want to increase domestic consumption even more."

Exports to Chile

In 2021, Peru sent 14% of its production to Chile. According to the president of Prohass, "it was a year of very good Chilean consumption. I believe that this year we will also have a similar participation in the Chilean market."

Regarding the quality of the Peruvian avocado, Paredes commented that in the northern part of the country, a cosmetic avocado is produced, where the skin is rougher than the Chilean silver. 

"From Nazca to the south to Arequipa, due to colder weather conditions, the avocado is almost identical to the avocado that the Chilean consumer is used to."

Main challenges

Despite good forecasts for the current season, challenges remain and a very relevant one for Juan Carlos Paredes is the quality and uniformity of the Peruvian avocado. 

"The large and medium-sized companies and partners of ProHass are responsible for quality. However, other companies are smaller, more informal, that do not care about this and are discrediting us with some arrivals of early Peruvian fruit to Europe,” said Paredes.

To this end, the association is working together with the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina. Regarding the project, the president of Prohass said, "this year we will implement a ripening chamber to better determine the percentage of dry matter and oils so that the avocado arrives with better maturity to different destinations."

The association's goal is to carry out a work plan to include small producers since they account for a third of the export supply. 

"Our efforts will be to provide them with technical advice, better agricultural practices, advice on markets and bring Senasa to them," said the president of Prohass.

He also indicated that some companies are conducting trials with new varieties such as Maluma, Carmanhassa, Mendez, and others. 

"In order to get out of the typical sale, where the price tends to go down due to the number of containers leaving Peru in the months of May to June. The companies that leave on that date are making the effort to leave with an earlier or later offer," said Paredes.

Looking to the future

Undoubtedly the work done by the Peruvian avocado industry has achieved good results, but for the president of Prohass, the time has come to take the next step, "because the industry is consolidated, it has already reached the period of adulthood, which leads us to think of consolidation."

He added, "we have consolidated commercially, technically and now comes the next step, which is a milestone that will mark the industry, that is sustainability."

Paredes assures that Peru has the characteristics to produce sustainable agriculture. 

"Now we have to add it to marketing, so that we do not differentiate ourselves from other countries and thus be able to sustain the demand year after year, together with the hectares cultivated in Peru," concluded Paredes.

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