LIMA — Peru is looking to increase its agricultural exports to $10 billion in 2021 from $7.5 billion in 2019, farm minister Jorge Montenegro told Reuters on Friday, outlining the government’s plan for increasing competition against countries like Mexico.
The increase in farm exports will be driven by higher production of products like grapes, blueberries and avocados, the minister said in an interview. The South American country, already a major mining power, wants to bolster its fruit shipments to foreign markets including India and Australia.
“What we have discussed with businesses in the sector is an increase in blueberries and alternative products, such as cherries,” Montenegro said.
“The goal for 2021 is to have $10 billion in agro-exports.”
Currently, the main destination for Peruvian farm exports is the United States, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and Ecuador.
Peru, which has free trade agreements with about 20 countries, has been negotiating a commercial treaty with India since 2017. A pact with Australia was signed in 2018 and took effect this year.
The minister said that in the coming years Peru wants to start competing “as equals” in the sale of avocados with Mexico, the world’s leading supplier. To do this the country is expanding its irrigation systems to widen planting areas by 22,000 hectares (54,363 acres).
“We are the second-biggest avocado producer in the world today. Mexico surpasses us by two-thirds, but the idea is to continue growing,” he said.
Peru’s total exports reached almost $46 billion last year, a 4.2% drop compared with 2018, mainly due to a decrease in the prices of its mining products, which represent 60% of the country’s total exports.