Peruvian exports of chili peppers and peppers will end 2020 with a 17% contraction. According to the president of the Association of Exporters' Capsicum Committee, Renzo Gomez, the pandemic has seriously affected that production chain in a way that has not been seen in the last ten years. "The projection is linked to the lower shipments of canned, dry, and frozen peppers due to the restriction measures that the health crisis brought upon the Horeca channel," he said.
However, despite the drop in sales of processed products, shipments of fresh capsicum soared due to the trend of healthy food consumption. "Unfortunately, Peru was not prepared to take advantage of the growth of that category (fresh). However, if we work together we can recover by 2021," said the spokesman. "The challenge is to get exports of fresh capsicum to go from 1% to 50% of the total exported"
Technology and promotion
Gomez said the sector needed to be provided with state-of-the-art technology. "Countries like the US only accept fresh capsicum grown under meshes. This requires a large investment, so it's important that the National Agricultural Health Service (Senasa) gets the US authorities to recognize the areas where the fruit fly has been eradicated. That would allow producing this product in the open field, where Peru has proven it is a resounding success,” he added.
He emphasized that Adex trains the members of the chain and explains the benefits of using mesh houses.
“The Mexican government supports its farmers with more protected areas with high-tech greenhouses. The Spanish government does the same in Almeria. The greenhouses in the Netherlands are very modern and have air conditioning, climate control, and other perks,” he said.
The promotion of the exportable supply is also important, he said. It is something that Mexico, a large producer and exporter of capsicum, has done for years.
“Its public and private institutions have done an extraordinary job with the jalapeño by achieving international recognition. We are working hand in hand with PromPeru to have a Peruvian capsicum brand,” he stressed.
The 2018-2028 Capsicum Sustainable Development Plan, approved in 2017 via Ministerial Resolution No. 0434-2017 - Minagri, is one of the most representative works in favor of this product. Its execution must be promoted and the country must offer more standardized products to make it a reality.