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Expansion of Asparagus Production and Exports in Peru

Discussion Papers

No.073

August 2006

ABSTRACT

Peru is the one of the most important exporters of asparagus in the world. Its export volume of fresh asparagus is ranked number one, and its export volume of preserved asparagus number two, globally. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the recent trends in asparagus production and exports around the world and to analyze factors in the development of the Peruvian asparagus industry. The production of asparagus has spread geographically. The center of its production used to be in the principal consuming countries, such as France, Germany and the United States. Afterward, it spread to neighboring countries such as Spain and Mexico where production factors such as climate and labor costs are favorable. After the rise and fall of Taiwan as a major preserved white asparagus exporter, China and Peru replaced its position. Finally, in recent years, Peru expanded its fresh green asparagus exports to the U.S. market by taking advantage of the increasing demand for fresh vegetables and supplying produce in seasons when neither U.S. nor Mexican producers can harvest.

In addition to the changing factors in the international market, there are several factors in the development of the industry: high yields of produce due to favorable climatic and soil conditions; the introduction of the drip irrigation system, which enabled desert cultivation; the integration of production and exports, which is indispensable for fresh produce exports; and the collective efforts of the industry with help from the public sector.

Keywords: agriculture, export, asparagus, Peru
JEL classification: F13, L70, N56, Q13,

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