LIMA, PERÚ-MAYO 16. Con la presencia del Vice Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, Embajador Néstor Francisco Popolizio Bardales, la Jefa de DEVIDA, Carmen Masías y productores del Cacao se realizó el lanzamiento del VIII Salón de Cacao y Chocolate 2017. Foto: ANDINA/Eddy Ramos.
Peru's cacao production reached a record high of 108,000 tons last year, thus becoming one of the most dynamic sectors in the Andean country's agriculture industry.
This was a result of coordinated efforts by the public sector, the cacao producers' association and the international cooperation, which hit yet another record high of 129,842 ha of cacao plantings.
Last year's output saw a 13.7% rise from 2015, when annual production reached 95,000 tons, Peruvian Association of Cacap Producers (Appcacao) Manager Luis Mendoza pointed out.
"Such growth was driven by the new areas involved in grain production," Mendoza said during the launch of the 8th edition of Cacao and Chocolate Salon 2017.
Main production areas are located in San Martin, Junin, Cusco, Ucayali, Huanuco, Ayacucho and Amazonas regions, accounting for 96% of the national production.
Cacao's output generated a total of 9.9 million days of work last year, thus benefiting over 90,000 families directly and 480,000 people indirectly, mainly those in the rainforest.
Moreover, he said 90% of cacao and cacao-based products are devoted to exports.
This way, Peruvian cacao exports expanded 12.5% to 90,000 tons (2016) from 80,000 tons (2015).
Major export markets are Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy (in Europe), as well as the United States and Canada.
Peru is the second largest producer of this grain after the Dominican Republic.
"Cacao beans made up of 52.2% of cacoa exports, 20% of which were organic and fair-trade certified," he added.