Effects of COVID19 on agribusiness in Colombia, Peru & Ecuador - UPDATE #2

Here is an update of the most relevant developments so far in Colombia, Peru & Ecuador related to COVID-19 and the effects on the agricultural sector. Read more about the impact it has on GDP, bananas, oranges, asparagus, avocado and flowers.


  • The Minister of Agriculture, announced the opening of the call for the ‘El Campo Emprende’ program, which has a budget of COP $ 36,000 million and hopes to shelter an average of 9,000 families. In order to improve living conditions, income and employment in the poorest rural areas of the country, through co-financing and strengthening associative productive projects.The minister stressed that, for this year, more than 50% of the beneficiaries of the project will be rural women. In addition, he stressed that the idea is also to promote generational replacement in the countryside, supporting rural youth between 18 and 28 years old to become entrepreneurs and lead business plans in the sector.The Government determined five production lines to be co-financed: transformation, handicrafts, rural tourism, green businesses, other rural goods and services aimed at promoting rural development.


  • The overall GDP growth report for the economy for the first quarter was 1.1%. However, the agricultural sector had a growth of 6.8%. Banana, rice, eggs and pork, were the main products that contributed to this growth, the share of coffee is falling, however all this allows adding 50 basis points to the Colombian economy.


  • Banana and plantain exports expected to increase and domestic demands remains steady in spite of Covid-19. According to Unibán, the main exporter and marketer of plantain and banana in Colombia, between January and April sales grew 20% and by the end of 2020 they expect to export 44.7 million boxes of bananas, 3.3 million plantain boxes and around 1,800 tons of banana chips.


  • In spite of the Covid pandemic, during April and so far in May, 66 tons of Colombian oranges were exported to the US, according to the Colombian Agricultural Institute - ICA. For these operations, ICA has been inspecting and verifying both the quality and phytosanitary status of the national crops that go abroad.



  • During the first quarter of this year, Peruvian agro-exports grew 8%, equivalent to US $ 1,623 million, and were mainly driven by fruits and vegetables, whose figure was US $ 983 million, which represented 19% more than in 2019.Regarding destination markets, the United States continued to lead the list with 38% participation, followed by The Netherlands (20%), Spain (12%) and Hong Kong (7%). The export list during this period was led by the grape with US $ 470 million (+33%), entering foreign markets mainly through the Port of Philadelphia (39%), the Port of Hong Kong (14%) and the Port of Rotterdam (9%). Mango continues the list with US $ 180 million (+4%), followed by avocado with US $ 137 million (+227%) and citrus with US $ 6 million (+28%).On the other hand, products such as coffee and cocoa registered exports of US $ 46 million and US $ 55 million respectively, with the United States, Germany and the Netherlands being the main destinations.


  • The agricultural sector grew 2.9% between January and March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, accordinf to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. This increase was driven by higher production in the agricultural (3.4%) and livestock subsectors (2.4%). The growth of the agricultural subsector was boosted by the production of quinoa which increased 115%, paprika 61.7%, paddy rice 21%, blueberry 18.6%, potato 16.9%, among others. The livestock subsector growth was driven by the rise of chicken production of 3%, raw cow's milk 2.4%, pigs 4.3% and chicken eggs 2.2%.


  • Asparagus exports prospects not very promising for 2020, according to Peruvian Exporters’ Association - ADEX. The reduced frequency of international flights, the increase in freight and the difficult situation in international markets would affect shipments of the vegetable. In addition, Adex reported that in the first quarter of 2020 the export of asparagus (fresh, preserved and frozen) totaled US 75,509 million, suffering a drop of -16.6% compared to the same period last year (US 90,639 million). Main destination markets were the USA. (US 36,136 million) and Spain (US $ 15,382 million), both represented 68.2% of the total. The Netherlands stood out (growth of 6.9%). Others such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil and Belgium decreased.


  • The National Agrarian Health Service – Senasa, reported that 3,872 hectares of avocado ("Hass", "Fuerte", "Zutano", "Nabal" and "Ettinger" varieties) for export have been GAP certified. By doing this Peru aims at keeping its destination markets despite the pandemic: The Netherlands, Spain, Chile, England, USA, China, United Kingdom, Russia, France, Costa Rica, Argentina, Japan, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Panama, India and Germany.



  • AGRIFLOR international flower trade fair rescheduled to October 4th-6th 2021.