Renzo Gomez, member of the Passion Fruit Work Table of the Association of Exporters (ADEX), stated that Peru had 6,500 hectares of passion fruit, which yield an average of 18 to 20 tons per hectare. The area with the highest production is Chimbote with 2,000 ha. It is followed by Piura, Olmos, Motupe, Trujillo, Huaral, and Cañete.
Before, Gomez said, the crop yielded 30 to 40 tons. However, yields have decreased because there of a lack of technical assistance.
“Small farmers have been abandoned and we as a committee are trying to sensitize the State and the universities so that we start to give technical assistance to the producer,” he said.
He also said that one of the problems in Peru was the issue of varieties. 75% of the passion fruit that is produced is allocated for the industry (to make juices and concentrate) and the rest to the local market.
“The wholesale market introduced new varieties that are not good for the industry because they don’t have a high Brix degree (sweet) or a high degree of acidity. This mixture of varieties is upsetting the quality of passion fruit,” he added.
He also said the market requested passion fruit that had a minimum of 13 degrees Brix, and the Creole variety had 14 degrees Brix and other varieties have less than 12 degrees.
He also said that the Peruvian passion fruit juice and concentrates sector was growing a lot. In addition, he highlighted that the shipments of this fruit, which already exceed US $ 50 million, have the potential to keep growing, but that this growth depended on the fruit’s quality.
ADEX will organize the first Passion Fruit Congress
According to Renzo Gomez, ADEX will organize the First Passion Fruit Congress, to be held on August 6 in Chimbote (Ancash), which aims to provide farmers with basic knowledge in the production of this fruit.
“The goal of this congress is to give small producers basic production guidelines and knowledge about other topics because passion fruit is one of the products that does not have technical assistance in the field,” he said.
He said they expected around 400 people would attend the event. He also said that specialists from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (EMBRAPA) and the Center for Heritage Studies (Cepa) of Colombia would attend the event.