Peru: Chilli exports could amount to US $6M

The Government declared the first Friday in September as the Peruvian Chilli Day to encourage production, sustainable consumption, and exports of this product, which is the protagonist of the national cuisine.

"Last year, chilli exports amounted to US $5,322,000, thanks to an increase in demand from the United States, Spain, Chile, Italy, and Japan. This year, we expect to ship out US $6 million. Peruvian chili is an important part of Peruvian cuisine and its production has allowed small producers to improve their income," said Juan Varilias, the president of ADEX, during the official launch ceremony of the Peruvian Chilli Day. 

He also said that people didn't consume some of the components of capsicum, such as their heart, which contain capsaicin, an element that according to studies conducted in the US could help treat respiratory diseases, and that the industry could make use of them.

Formal agribusiness
According to Varilias, the agricultural industry reached important levels of competitiveness, such as automation and the use of drones in the supervision of crops, but that it needed to improve its levels of competitiveness by tackling issues beyond the crops, such as transport costs, which are very high. 

He also said that the government of President Vizcarra was working to unblock some processes and obstacles to export, and reiterated his request that the president oversees the National Council for Competitiveness and Formalization (CNCF) himself.

He also said that the country was able to export the peppers to the USA thanks to the efforts of ADEX and that they needed to work more to increase shipments. "The use of mesh houses will prevent pollution and will promote the entry of these products to more markets, such as China. There is a fair (FHC Shanghai) at the end of the year in which we will be present. 2019 will be a great year for the capsicum," he said.

Renzo Gomez, the president of the ADEX Capsicum Committee, said the sector's goal should be to increase national consumption to the level of Mexico, where each year each person eats an average of 15 kilos of chili a year, while in Peru that value reaches 4 kilos.

"Peru exports almost US $250 million in capsicum, but only 4 percent corresponds to Peruvian peppers, which is not bad because five years ago it didn't amount to 0.5 percent; now we are growing because the Peruvian cuisine is consolidated worldwide," he said. 

Gomez said that the Peruvian Chili Day will be an opportunity for exporters to diversify their sales. "We want the Peruvian chili to be as recognized as the Mexican chili. The jalapeƱo pepper is the star chili of Mexico and we must make an effort so that our chili has that category," he added. 

Finally, the deputy minister of Agrarian Policies of the Ministry of Agriculture, William Arteaga, highlighted the way that Peruvian chili producers included this product in the agroindustrial basket. "The Ministry contributes in research so that this product achieves the competitiveness it should have. The chili represents us all and we identify it as part of our identity and culture," he said. 


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