Andina

Ginger's commercial potential enriches Peruvian exports basket

13:34 | Lima, Jan. 19.

By Victor Lozano

Ginger or "kion" is considered a fundamental ingredient in Peruvian cuisine and even more so if we refer to the fusion with Chinese food widely known as "Chifa."

However, in recent years, this small root featuring a penetrating aroma and slightly spicy flavor has emerged as one of the products with the greatest potential in Peru's exports offer, even more so considering its medical benefits such as the strengthening of the immune system.

Carolina Ramirez, the head of Economic Studies and Agrarian Information at the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri), affirmed that —unlike other similar ones— Peruvian ginger is characterized by its high quality and mainly because its production is carried out organically.

"Around the world, Peru is very well positioned in this sense. In fact, we share the first places in the production of organic ginger around the world, because we held the fourth position as a producer in 2020," she told the official gazette El Peruano.

In this regard, the South American country relies on an important advantage, since it specifically targets market niches where healthier consumer trends tend to prevail.

"For this reason, competing directly in the conventional market, where China is the leader with a production much higher than ours, would be inconvenient. The organic market is our goal, and we achieved a great penetration not only with ginger, but also with other products that are grown under those same conditions," she explained.

Production

According to Midagri, Peru's ginger production is currently focused on Junin region —basically in the provinces of Chanchamayo and Satipo— in whose fertile soils it is cultivated taking advantage of the humid microclimates of moderate temperatures, typical of the valleys located between the eastern slope of the Andes and the Amazon rainforest, where over 90% of the total ginger production originates.

"We are working in other regions to increase their production levels. We recorded ginger harvest peaks. Thus, 2,200 tons were obtained in 2016. Subsequently, there was a worldwide decline, to later overcome these levels and reach a production of 15,000 tons in 2020," Ramirez noted.

The official argued that broadening the farmland horizon for ginger is essential.

"The regional research centers of the National Institute of Agrarian Innovation (INIA) —along with the General Directorate of Agricultural Environmental Affairs (DGAAA)— must identify those areas, between 800 and 1,200 meters above sea level in the regions of Cusco, Pasco, San Martin, Amazonas, and Madre de Dios, which feature similar conditions as the lands of Chanchamayo and Satipo," she indicated.

Ramirez added that the offer can be expanded, particularly of organic ginger, thus supplying the domestic market and reaching new growing ones that do not have enough supply.

"It is urgent to expand the offer, in order to serve not only the domestic market, but also large markets, the United States and Europe, for now taken over by China (...)," she expressed.

Strategy

Midagri's head of Economic Studies and Agrarian Information asserted that the ministry is working on a strategy that enables it to promote the Peruvian organic ginger trade.

Furthermore, Ramirez said this portfolio also provides support and technical assistance to farmers, with the aim of achieving significant development levels.

"For example, through the facilitation of certain funds, cooperatives or agricultural communities can be supported in order to obtain the certifications they require to export ginger to niche markets," she commented.

(END) DOP/VLA/SDD/MVB

Publicado: 19/1/2021
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