Effects of COVID-19 on agribusiness in Peru
Here is an update of the most relevant developments so far in Peru related to covid-19 during March and April and the effects on the agricultural sector.
Agricultural GDP has suffered losses of S / 1 611 million (€ 438,000,575) due to the national quarantine to stop the advance of Covid-19. In addition, lower harvests are expected from September.
Both external evaluations and from the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation find a huge impact on the agricultural sector, impacting especially on small producers; They warn that if measures to recover productive activity are not implemented due to low income of farmers in the first half and during the rest of the year, the agricultural sector may fall into a crisis.
The situation is worse by the shortage of water that will affect planting for 2020-2021, which begins in August, the Government will make subsidies worth S / 150 million (€ 407,821) for the maintenance of irrigation infrastructure in 21 departments of the country to keep a total of 18,950 km of irrigation canals in good condition.
The national emergency due to the coronavirus is also affecting farmers, in Huaral there have been problems of transportation to take the crops out of the field and take them to the markets. Absolute immobility measures adopted during Easter have limited the sector much more and some products have been harvested on time such as mangoes, persimmons and peaches. Such products run the risk of over ripening until falling off the trees, losing their economic value. A large part of the producers had scheduled to harvest these fruits on last Thursday and Friday, which could not take place due to the mobility restrictions.
Blueberry area will increase 35% in the 2020-2021 period
The area of blueberries nationwide will jump 35% for the 2020-2021 season, reaching a total of 14.789 hectares cultivated; distributed mainly in Chavimochic, Olmos and Piura, the Association of Blueberry Producers of Peru (Proarándanos) projected.
In particular, the Olmos agro-exporters have set a goal of installing 1.400 new hectares before the end of the year; while in Piura the expansion of areas of the blue berry will grow between 300-400 ha. Peru is the world's largest exporter of blueberries.
As of April /2020, 6.943 tons of cocoa have been exported, valued at US $ 20,132,000. The average FOB price is USD 3,967 / t, which meant a variation of 65% compared to the same period last year.
Main destinations: The Netherlands (29.1%), Belgium (16.1%) and the United States (14.2%), these countries concentrate 59.3% of the total exported.
As of April / 2020 Peru imported 9 583 tons of frozen potatoes worth US $ 8.2 million. The main supplier was the Netherlands with US $ 5,887 (7,260 tons), United States with US $ 876 (905 tons), Canada with US $ 599 (771 t), Argentina with US $ 649 (479 t), and Belgium with US $ 142 (128 t).
First quarter: 63,573 fewer jobs in the export sector
In the first quarter of the year, Peruvian exports generated 635 847 jobs -9.1% over the same period last year (699 420), which represented the loss of 63,573 jobs due to the covid19 crisis. All subsectors generated fewer jobs, with the exception of the agro-industry that maintains 313,142 jobs, according to the Exporters Association.
About 158,000 jobs were registered in March, the lowest number in the last five years, when the monthly average was 250,000 (per month). If this trend continues, activity would end the year with just 2,500,000 jobs created, a figure that would represent a drop of about 20% compared to 2019 based on the annual average of 3 million jobs.