Andina

Fitch: Tougher stance against cocaine to drive cacao production in Peru

09:29 | New York (U.S.), Dec. 6.

Peruvian cacao production has gained momentum in recent years, and it is expected to continue this trend in 2017-2018 and onwards, thus forecasts out to 2021-2022 have been revised up, Fitch Solutions has affirmed.

It should be noted production will be supported by the Government's tougher stance against cocaine, encouraging farmers to switch from coca to cacao cultivation

"We have revised up our 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 cacao production forecasts for Peru, from 119,000 and 123,000 tons respectively, to 141,100 and 155,800 tons respectively," Fitch expressed.

Likewise, recent national data shows that —for August 2018— cacao production is up by 18.1% y-o-y, following 2016-2017's record harvest of 121,800 tons.

Furthermore, local sources report that the area designated for cacao planting has risen drastically in recent years.

Growing concerns surrounding the prevalence of illegal crops such as coca in the nation has led the Inca country's National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida) —in collaboration with United States Agency for International Development (USAID)— to ramp up anti-drug trafficking efforts. 

Therefore, USAID is negotiating with coca-growing communities in the Amazon, encouraging them to switch to licit crops.

In 2017, over 25,000 families —now covering an area of over 49,000 hectares (ha) of crops including cacao and coffee— transitioned away from the illegal crop, it stressed.

In 2018 so far, over 20,000 ha of illegal coca crops have been eradicated under the government initiative.

Moreover, USAID has facilitated partnerships with the private sector by establishing 79 cooperatives and associations.

High-quality cacao has supported Peru's international reputation, allowing the country to increase its exports tenfold from around 5,000 tons in 2008 to over 50,000 tons in 2017, exporting predominantly to Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and the United States.

However, new European Union regulations restricting cadmium levels in cacao products threaten Peru's main export market.

Editor's note: Based on information provided by Fitch Solutions.

(END) NDP/DTK/MVB

Publicado: 6/12/2018
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