With their sights set on the next fruit campaign, companies are installing mulch and irrigation tape, which means a greater installed area regarding past years and better production yields.
As the Peruvian strawberry production grows, concerns about its environmental impact increases. Something that is evident given this crop’s dynamism, especially in Lima’s small north valleys, where this campaign will produce around 2.200 hectares (5.436 acres), while at national level are between 3.500 to 3.800 hectares (8.648 to 9.390 acres) already installed. In this area is where 80% of the national market strawberries are cultivated, as well as the frozen ones for the main markets as USA, Canada, Korea, Japan and Europe.
Nonetheless, berries’ advisor José Cordero points out that this is an intense crop whose production requires a large amount of resources (water, energy, fertilizers, plastic, etc.) and that it generates a big environmental impact. One of the main impacts is in hydric resources, given that most of the farms take water from the High Andean basins that supply to rivers all year round. “For this reason, the work of the user commissions of the hydraulic subsector that includes the Huaral, Huaura and Barranca valleys is essential”, he recommends.
At the same time, this is a fairly “sensitive” crop, so it is appropriate to adopt the most innovative agronomical practices. Along these lines, current cultivation techniques allow strawberries to grow successfully under certain different climate conditions, open-field plants, in a protected or soilless environment. “Despite this wide adaptability, only perfect irrigation management will guarantee excellent results, both in terms of quantity and in quality”, indicates the expert and points out that the adoption of a drip irrigation system and waterings’ correct planning are key to achieve good aesthetic and organoleptic quality and, at the same time, a high production.