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Climate Change Poses a Direct Threat to the Peruvian Blueberry Industry

Climate change poses a direct threat to the Peruvian blueberry industry and other countries’ fruit markets globally. The industry has experienced adverse meteorological effects, leading to crop destruction, slowed production processes, and reduced yields. Intense rains, hail, and high radiation rates have impacted plants, resulting in insufficient fruit in markets and affecting consumer demand.

The fruit industry is particularly vulnerable to climate change and global warming due to its reliance on the interaction of plants, soil, and climate. Additionally, the need for labor adds a social factor to the industry. Adapting to or mitigating these environmental effects is an urgent challenge.

Recent heat waves have significantly impacted Peru’s blueberry season, delaying fruit production by affecting plant photosynthesis. Now, ongoing threats come from forecasted heavy rains, with the Multisectoral Commission of the National Study of the El Niño Phenomenon projecting the meteorological event to persist until at least the fall of 2024. The main blueberry-producing regions, located in the coastal and northern regions of the Peruvian highlands, are at risk.

Authorities anticipate warm air temperatures from November 2023 to February 2024, leading to intense rains on the north coast, central coast, and northern mountains. This poses a threat of floods and landslides, particularly in vulnerable regions such as Tumbes, Piura, La Libertad, Áncash, Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Huánuco, San Martín, Amazonas, Ica, and Loreto. These regions account for nearly 95% of blueberry crops and virtually all export production.

To address these challenges, the Minister of Agrarian Development and Irrigation of Peru, Jennifer Contreras, emphasized the government’s commitment to preventive measures. Work is underway at 316 critical points from Tumbes to Ica, involving the clearing and cleaning of rivers and drains through the National Water Authority (ANA). The government aims to protect the lives, assets, and crops of the population from the anticipated rains and associated risks.

Source : Fresh Plaza