Challenges and opportunities of agribusiness in Peru

Agribusiness is consolidated in Peru as one of the fastest-growing sectors: it will exceed the US $ 8 million in exports, despite COVID-192. Recently, the Agronegocios-Peru portal reported that our country is consolidated as a regional and world exporter of fruits, and appears in the first places of the ranking. It is the largest exporter of blueberries in the world and the second-largest exporter of asparagus and avocados. Regarding mangoes and grapes, we are the second Latin American exporter, and the fourth and fifth world exporter, respectively1.

The entry into new markets such as Asia has allowed this sustained growth. Thanks to the joint work of the business sector and the commercial impulse from Promperú, for example, since 2005 Peruvian exports to the Asian continent have grown exponentially, and this trend is expected to continue in the 2020-2021 period. For this reason, the same strategy of private associations must be followed, signing of export protocols, commercial management with large chains such as the World Whole Foods Market, in addition to consumer studies in each of the destination countries. Some of the new markets expected to be conquered are blueberries in India and Malaysia, citrus in India and Vietnam, pomegranates in China, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan, Hass avocados in the Philippines and Malaysia, and grapes in Japan. Likewise,

Technology has made it possible to sustain and develop new agro-industrial businesses, such as the adaptation of new crops such as blueberries that until about ten years ago were still not grown in Peru, the development of new products, and the introduction of processing technology. However, we must take an additional step as a country and use biotechnology as key support for agribusiness, focusing on six trends in biotechnology in the agro-industrial sector: agricultural bio-inputs, sustainable production of protein (plant-based protein), nutraceutical products. , biomaterials and industrial enzymes, energy from residual biomass, conservation and development of new species for crop adaptation3.

This will allow us to make the most of our comparative advantages in terms of climate and biodiversity. Just to mention some examples of the trends mentioned above: biopesticides from biochemicals from autochthonous plants, proteins derived from Andean grains for innovation of new products, bioactive peptides such as nutraceuticals from Andean grains for the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries; biodegradable thermoplastics made from high starch raw materials; obtaining biofuels from lignocellulosic material from agro-industrial by-products, biorefineries; among others.

Thus, at the San Ignacio de Loyola University we train agro-industrial engineers with a cutting-edge curricular mesh, based on three axes: training in bioprocesses with an emphasis on industrial biotechnology, and innovation of new products and global agribusiness, in addition to other skills such as creativity, communication, ability to solve problems and teamwork. This training will allow them to face new challenges and trends in agro-industrial engineering.

About Agroindustrial Engineering and Agribusiness
The USIL’s Agroindustrial and Agribusiness Engineering degree trains leading engineers capable of transforming agricultural resources into value-added products to contribute to the development and innovation of agribusiness.