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Peru plans to bring Brazilian in vitro bananas to diversify the export offer

7.9.2018

Peru expects its largest production of organic bananas during this year and is working on the establishment of phytosanitary protocols for the importation of in vitro banana and / or plantains from Brazil.

This would be due, among other things, to the search to evaluate new varieties that are resistant to the FOC R4T (Race 4 Tropical Fusarium Oxysporum f.cubense), a disease that worries the industry due to its destructive potential.

"To date, the FOC R4T has only been reported in Asia, Oceania and Africa," said Juan Carlos Rojas, researcher at INIA Peru.

Rojas commented that, if a protocol is established to bring Pomme to Peru, it would be necessary to "initially evaluate its adaptation to our soil conditions, climate; and resistance and / or tolerance to diseases."

Brazil, unlike Peru, has 70% of its area planted with Pomme bananas, which includes the varieties Pacovan, Prata and Prata Anã (AAB), while Peru works with the Cavendish, which includes Valery, Williams and Lacatan varieties.

Cavendish, as explained by the researcher, is susceptible to the Mal de Panama Raza 4, which could have a significant economic impact on Peruvian production, since the plantations are mostly of that subgroup.

Despite this, Rojas acknowledges that there is an interest in Peru in exporting more exotic varieties.

"There is interest and some tests have already been done to send local varieties such as Banana Bizcochito, from the Peruvian jungle," he said.

He added that the organic Harton plantain is also being explored and that Isla Plantain has been considered which could be interesting for niches abroad.

One of the advantages of Peruvian production is that they do not have black Sigatoka, the main disease that affects the production of countries that have high rainfall.

"Piura, having a dry climate and little rain, does not generate conditions favourable for this disease and therefore can save the high cost of controlling the pest, this comparative advantage must be exploited", emphasized Rojas.

Especially because of the growth in hectares that other countries are planning for their plantation surfaces.

"The offer is growing and therefore the competition; In the case of Peru, it is important to strengthen producer and export organizations, with new technologies for a better use of water, soil and quality seeds," said the researcher.

He added that it is essential "to help them improve their production and control processes, seeking to improve productivity and lower production costs; and above all to look for new market niches and start diversifying varieties".

Regarding export challenges, he stressed that it is important for small and large producers to consolidate in a single platform that promotes the positioning of Peruvian organic bananas in different markets such as the US, Europe and Asia.

In addition, he recommended that Peru "look for important regional markets such as Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay that demand bananas and that thanks to our geographical location we could be suppliers like Ecuador.”

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