In The Last 5 Years, The Volume Exported Increased By 18.4% But Its Value Fell By 20% “The Asparagus Business Is Under Very High Pressure In Peru”


In the last five years (from 2017 to 2021), Peruvian fresh asparagus exports increased by 18.4% in volume, from 23,082,591 to 27,329,252 boxes (5 kilograms each box). In that same period, however, their FOB value decreased by 20%, going from 505,100,000 dollars to 404,048,452.

The director of the Peruvian Institute of Asparagus and Vegetables (IPEH), Jose Antonio Castro, said this contraction in value was due to the different logistics and sanitary difficulties that the sector has faced, among other problems, and the strong competition from Mexico.

The United States is the main destination of the Peruvian asparagus and requires the asparagus is fumigated, which generates less added value. In addition, it is a market where there is greater competition with Mexico.

“The only way to improve the results and returns for producers is by maintaining more distant markets, with greater added value and better returns of foreign exchange. However, we must have reliable health bases, such as field, packing, and shipping certification, or we’ll hardly be able to control the pests that affect the vegetable,” Castro stated.

“We are aware that in the current situation we are competing with other crops that are more profitable. We also know we face labor issues, increasing production costs, logistics problems, that crops are aging, and, most importantly, that we must deal with health issues. The asparagus business is under very high pressure and I think many producers will grow a different product when they have to replace their asparagus crops because the plants are too old,” he said.

Eliminating asparagus fumigation to enter the US; the change needed by the industry
The president of the IPEH, Juan José Gal´Lino, stressed that the asparagus had opened the door to other agro-export products such as mangoes, grapes, citrus, avocados, and recently blueberries. “Asparagus was the product that led the dynamic Peruvian agro-export growth, but today it is failing.”

Juan José Gal´Lino said that SENASA and the IPEH had requested the United States to eliminate fumigation as a requirement for Peru to export its asparagus to that market and to change it for certifications. We hope to achieve this goal in a year, he added. Today the decision is in the hands of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS).

From Fresh Plaza