Two decades ago, farmers in the Peruvian Amazon abandoned coca leaf crops in exchange for the Cacao, a product that was presented as an alternative crop to stop illegal planting. Cacao production was successful at the time, sustaining the economy of many families in the Peruvian jungle for a long time. Today, however, cacao producers have low productivity, which is related, among other factors, with the advanced age of the plantations, the lack of good pest and disease control, poor soil drainage, and low fertilizer application. In addition, new cacao plantations take three years to produce their first fruits, which does not allow for immediate economic income.
Through business plans, the PERU-Hub project is developing strategies that will allow producers in the San Martin Region to diversify their crops with other more profitable species and develop enterprises with short- and medium-term benefits. These business plans are aimed at the technified production and marketing of passion fruit and the production and processing of dairy products in the Pucayacu IRD. The project is also developing business plans for the production and marketing of guanabana, camu camu, vanilla, and macadamia. Subsequently, the project will develop a business plan for fine aroma cacao to help producers who prefer to continue cultivating this species.
In the case of passion fruit, PERU-Hub’s Agribusiness team (in charge of preparing the business plans) has completed the profitability studies, establishing the viability not only of growing passion fruit in San Martin but also of producing natural juice for export. The business plans for each crop are being implemented by PERU-Hub in the fields of the Instituto Regional de Desarrollo (IRD) of Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Pucayacu, Tarapoto.
The business plans contain the following topics, which will be periodically updated by PERU-Hub’s professional teams during the implementation and development period:
- Crop aspects
- Market analysis
- Technical processing plan
- Marketing plan
- Financial and cost analysis
To ensure the success of these business plans, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina will build a food processing plant in the IRD-Pucayacu, which will be implemented by the PERU-HUB project with two processing lines: a juice and pulp line and a dairy line. PERU-Hub’s projection is that these business plans, once implemented by La Agraria, will be seen as successful models by the small farmers in the San Martin region.
PERU-Hub is committed to crop diversification to boost the growth of producer organizations and help improve the economic conditions of families in the upper jungle.