Entrepreneurs of the agricultural sector estimate that blueberry production will quadruple by 2023, and will generate a high demand for labour and an exponential growth of the sector.
The unions of agricultural producers estimate that by 2023 there will be around 150 million kilos of blueberries in the country, almost quadrupling the 40 million that are currently produced. In the same line, a high demand for labour and an exponential growth of the agricultural sector are projected.
What effects will it have on the economy and agricultural production?
In a few years, Peru has gone from not producing blueberries to generating almost 6% of world production. This already has a macroeconomic impact that for this year would represent between 0.20% and 0.25% of GDP or between 2.8% and 3.5% of agricultural production, that is between US $ 400 and US $ 500 million, which will be concentrated in the La Libertad region, which by this factor can have an increase in the total GDP of almost 4% (and around 25% in agricultural production) compared to the hypothetical situation in which blueberries will be produced.
What risks do you notice in the exponential growth of this business?
The risk is the typical one observed in the agricultural sector: overproduction concentrated in a short period. To the extent possible that a product shows high profitability, a favorable effect is generated for its production by new participants, which tend to increase the volume produced until the market is saturated. In fact, even in developed countries there are problems of this kind, as demonstrated by the recent milk crisis in France.
What should be the role of the State, of the Government, in the presence of this?
The role of the State in guiding production through an adequate provision of information (prices, identification of products with a strong expansion of supply, suggestion of alternative products) and promotion of small producers is key. That said, we must start now: we are around 40 thousand tons produced per year and Chile is already in 100 thousand; together we account for around 20% of world production, so a very fast increase can have a significant downward impact on the prices received by local producers.