El niño weather phenomenon has left many crops damaged. Further, the northern regions of Peru where Asparagus is farmed had severe infrastructure losses. Asparagus growers have struggled to ship their production abroad, as it is hard to get the production to Lima when bridges and roads have been over flooded.
An unexpected warmup in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean is causing heavy rains to repeatedly batter Peru, causing some of the worst flooding in decades. Floods have killed dozens and displaced more than 500,000 so far, with more heavy rain expected to fall in coming weeks. El Niño, which is an event characterized higher than average ocean temperatures in the equatorial tropical Pacific, along with a reversal of trade winds blowing across the planet’s largest ocean, officially ended its run in June of last year. (Such events can rearrange weather patterns from South America to East Africa.) However, a separate, more localized version — called a “coastal El Niño” — recently formed along the Peruvian coast. It’s this area of unusually warm ocean waters that’s fueling the heavy rains across the country, with average water temperatures off the Peruvian coast running up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit above average for this time of year.
Due to the weather conditions, the quality of next season’s asparagus production in Peru is uncertain and results will be seen within the coming 45 to 85 days. Besides, the Niño effect, Peruvian asparagus is very well established in the market, there are many big asparagus consumers abroad that mainly rely on the crops from the north of the country. According to Robert Schueller, director of public relations for World Variety Produce- Melissa most of his company’s asparagus comes from Peru. It distributes green, purple and white asparagus to higher-end retailers.
Peru’s asparagus demand continues to be high. It is also very popular among restaurants. Schueller said chefs have been exploring more the different types of asparagus and consumers are highly interested in cooking asparagus dishes.
Overall agriculture in Peru continues to grow
Agriculture GDP will expand 3% this year and thus surpass last year’s growth, despite the “Coastal El Niño” weather phenomenon, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (Minagri) Agriculture Director-General Angel Manero projected on Wednesday. This year’s avocado, blueberry and cocoa season is expected to be outstanding, plus grapes international price has begun to rebound, which will allow agro-exports to increase by over 10%.
“This way agriculture growth will hit 3% by the end of the year. Recovery will be visible in the third quarter of this year,” he told Andina news agency. Despite the difficulties facing the country —due to heavy rains, floods and landslides— water will be available for all crops.
Some 6,000km of roads have been damaged or destroyed by the rains that began in December, caused by the greater warming of the Pacific off the coast of Peru and Ecuador, known as El Niño Costero. The Peruvian Council of Ministers has approved an Emergency Decree that will allow the implementation of a US$42m programme developed by the agriculture ministry to help affected growers. This includes the immediate allocation of US$29m to repair damaged infrastructure such as canals and reservoirs and a payment of US$307 per hectare of damaged production up to a maximum US$1,231 per hectare. In addition, there will be funds to restore plantations of bananas, lemons, mangos and other fruit trees directly affected by the floods.
Severe El Ninos “will come around more frequently because of climate change” and Peru needs to plan to prevent major flooding in future, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski told Bloomberg News in an interview at the presidential palace in Lima. Peru’s economic growth may slow to 3 percent to 3.5 percent this year before rebounding next year as the government finances construction of new homes, roads and bridges destroyed by floods and mudslides, Kuczynski said. After the emergency passes, Peru will start a three-year rebuilding program that includes construction of thousands of earthquake-proof houses in areas less prone to flooding, Kuczynski said. The government will also need to invest in defense systems for the 30 or so rivers that flow down from the Andes mountains and into the Pacific Ocean. Rivers will be cascaded in parts and confined with channeling as they reach the coast, he said.
“These rivers that go from nothing to a raging torrent have to be channeled, especially in urban areas,” he said. “That’s quite expensive. This requires a big plan that we have to design. ” Channeling will free up large areas of fertile land for agriculture, making the project attractive for the private sector, said Kuczynski. Building companies could finance the work in exchange for land, he said. The president said he expects the reconstruction plan will be ready in three months time and may include 150,000 new homes for low and middle income families, and a major expansion of water and sanitation systems. Peru is better placed to withstand the economic and financial cost than in the past, and will tap its “substantial” savings as well as loans to finance rebuilding, said Kuczynski, a 78-year-old former Wall Street banker who took office in July. “We should get a good rebound in growth next year of 4 percent to 5 percent,” he said. “Now, what is the cost for reconstruction? People throw out numbers, but the situation in the north hasn’t ended yet, so we’re not ready to say.”
source. Peru This Week