NEED. It is urgent to promote agrarian research in Peru so that it can accompany the sector in the growth process.
Before referring to the perspectives of the agro-exportation for 2018, it is important to mention the events that affected the sector the previous year, since it was a real test of fire for the Peruvian agriculture, which had to face, among several factors, the “El Niño” coastal climatic phenomenon that destroyed not only urban infrastructure and left thousands of victims, but also damaged important roads, bridges, roads and productive areas, whose recovery is still in process.
However, even in the midst of this difficult situation, agrarian and agro-export producers, also affected, not only helped the rural population and public institutions, but also continued to give work in rural areas, growing in production and exports, resulting in a growth of 8.5% compared to 2016, consolidating as well as the second export sector in the country.
The agro-export sector began 2018 in a positive way, since in addition to not seeing any extreme weather events for now, the outlook is totally favorable and very encouraging. Only during the first quarter of the year, agricultural exports grew by 23.9% (US $ 1,424 million) compared to the first quarter of the previous year, highlighting the fresh fruit and vegetables subsector, whose increase was US $ 772 million, 38.1% more that allows us to imagine what is coming for the next three months, and in general for the whole 2018.
Fresh fruits and vegetables (F & H) such as avocados, citrus fruits, pomegranates, bananas and even asparagus, among others, will be the main protagonists during the second quarter of the year, with exports that could grow by more than US $ 1,330 million in the first semester (+ 19%).
As for the fresh fruit subsector, projections are expected a growth of US $ 550 million for the second quarter of the year, while fresh vegetables on the other hand would have an approximate increase of US $ 65 million, accumulating to the first semester of the year (January -June) US $ 1,182 million and US $ 150 million, respectively. This, without mentioning the other products that will be exported during 2018 and that in total will allow a growth of more than 16% in fresh F & H.
However, it is important to highlight that agricultural products, mainly fruits, have a seasonality throughout the year, since not all months are produced, so a more accurate projection is always the one referring to the year or full season. However, projections and optimism have a counterpart in the challenges that must be faced in order for this sector to continue growing. For the next three months, for example, the awarding of the concession of the port of Salaverry, a very important port for the northern regions, should be granted, which should allow all exports from the agro-export sector of regions such as La Libertad, Áncash, Cajamarca, Lambayeque, among others.
Repairs must continue to be prioritized in the hundreds of kilometers of roads affected by the coastal El Niño, the dozens of bridges and the hundreds of kilometers of damaged irrigation canals, in addition to providing the necessary support to small farmers whose hectares of crops were affected. The priority in the next three months and in the remainder of the year, should certainly be that.
The objective of the country is to reach US $ 10,000 million by 2021 in the agro-export sector, a goal that is not impossible if the public sector accompanies the private sector at the same pace. During 2017, we reached US $ 5,795 million, which means that, on average, we must grow just over 14% per year. For this, we must provide legal stability to the regulatory framework of the agricultural sector through the extension of the Law of Agrarian Promotion (Law No. 27360), which will provide security and attract new private investment to continue developing the sector that has provided so many benefits to the country, unlock key projects of major hydraulic infrastructure such as Chavimochic III in La Libertad, Tambo Ccaracocha – Canal Río Pisco to Río Seco creek in Ica; Olmos in Lambayeque and Majes II in Arequipa, projects that will incorporate more than 140,000 new hectares and more than 126,000 hectares improved to modern agriculture, generating hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. As well as strengthening and supporting the already extraordinary work being done by SENASA to open more international markets and ensure food safety, and the urgent need to promote agricultural research in Peru that can accompany the sector in this growth process.
May 10, 2018
By: Gabriel Amaro, Executive Director AGAP
Published in Gestión – Supplement Balance & Prospects