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Peru: Coffee Production Looks Strong for 2016

We’re hearing anecdotally that Peru’s coffee production is going to be strong this year, maybe even returning to levels not seen since 2011 before the dreaded coffee rust came.

It’s not just coffee though, other export crops are fairing well in Peru:

 

Peru to double its exports by 2021

According to the Exporters Association (Adex), despite the stagnation experienced in 2015, Peruvian agricultural exporters expect to double exports to USD $10 billion dollars in 2021.

The union’s goal for 2016 is to surpass the USD $6 billion dollars in exports, thus overcoming the USD $5.093 billion dollars and 0.06 percent drop over 2014 achieved in 2015.

According to data from Adex, 85 percent of the non-traditional agricultural exports abroad are of fresh grapes, coffee, asparagus, avocado, quinoa, fresh mangoes, organic bananas, and paprika.

Worldwide, Peru is the number one exporter of asparagus (fresh, frozen and canned), quinoa, and maca; the second biggest exporter of asparagus and artichokes; the third biggest exporter of organic bananas and dried paprika, and the fourth largest exporter of table grapes and paprika powder.” Read more

El Niño Rains and Heat Affecting Northern & Central Peru

Northern & Central Peru have been hard hit this year with El Niño rains and extreme heat. We use the Central Highway to reach the coffee regions in the central rainforest, and for days at a time recently, it has been closed due to landslides. Farmers have lost livestock, and crops can’t be transported. Medical emergencies can only rely on helicopter at times. Millions in dollars of produce & other products have been lost.

Besides, torrential rains, Peru has suffered through an unusually hot summer. In Piura, temperatures have been reaching extremes rarely seen.

Here’s a recent series of articles and photos from El Comercio Peru  (Google translate and authors corrections for clarity.)

Huancayo: Canal overflows and inundates homes & Drowns animals Read more

Isla Blanca: Hidden Treasure of Chimbote

Off the coast of Chimbote, on the north central coast of Peru 420 kilometers (260 mi) north of Lima, lies Isla Blanca. Once a world renowned source of valuable guano for fertilizer, recently it’s become a favorite summer destination for locals and tourists. Via El Comercio Peru (Google translate and authors corrections for clarity.)

Every weekend, a part of the peaceful bay in the Ancashino Sea becomes the distraction for hundreds of locals and foreign tourists.

The reason? This area of the coast, rarely visited before, today is filled with vacationers in search of a treasure island called Blanca. This marvel flown by thousands of sea birds is northeast of Chimbote, in the province of Santa, exactly five kilometers away from the coast and about 20 minutes by boat from the nearest port.

To enjoy all this place, one must embark on the Chimbote Port Terminal or the private dock Gildemeister. The seasoned seamen advise that it is best to leave in the morning to enjoy the place all day long. Read more

Peruvian & Bolivian Experts to Measure Lake Titicaca Depth

Lake Titicaca by volume is the largest lake in all of South America. At over 12,000 ft. high, it is considered the highest navigable body of water in the world.

Recently, it was decided to measure the depth, and take better measurements of the lake.

Via El Comercio Peru (Google translate & authors corrections for clarity.)

Experts from Peru and Bolivia will measure the depth of Lake Titicaca, located over 3,500 meters above sea level, to adopt measures aimed at the preservation of this natural resource shared by both nations.

The president of the Binational Autonomous Authority of Lake Titicaca (ALT), Alfredo Mamani, told reporters that the task, which has not been done for 40 years, will be entrusted to 17 experts.

In 1977, the study noted that the maximum depth of Lake Titicaca was 300 meters in an area which corresponds to the Peruvian sovereignty. “It could be that the depth of now is less or has moved,” said Mamani.

Measuring jobs require an investment of $500,000 and will be performed by the Hydrography Naval Navy of Peru (DHN) and the National Naval Hydrology Service of Bolivia (SNHN).

Machu Picchu Celebrates 35 Years as UNESCO Site

Machu Picchu celebrates its 35th anniversary as a World Heritage Site

Via El Comercio Peru (Google translate with authors corrections for clarity.)

The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu was declared a Historical and Cultural Heritage Site by Unesco in 1981 and today celebrates the 35th anniversary of the event with the expectation of not becoming an endangered heritage, José Carlos Nieto, head of National Service of Protected Natural Areas (Sernanp) said in that historical and natural sanctuary.

Nieto said that in the last two years the situation among all the institutions collaborating in Machu Picchu “has changed a lot” because they have managed  “agreements and consensus” to prevent risks to the Inca citadel.

A Unesco mission will visit between 26 and 30 January, the region of Cuzco and Machu Picchu for a meeting. Nieto defined the meeting as “advisory” and observed that the world body had made this monument.

The head of the Sanctuary said that Unesco is not only a “watchdog but also help support the requirements” and hementioned the Master Plan approved in April 2015, which is in the application process.

Among the requirements made by UNESCO is implementing a design of urban planning that defines the boundaries of the modern town of Machu Picchu, and the parameters of the buildings, such as height and building characteristics.

A Long Celebration

In addition to the implementation of these plans to better preserve the site, the Peruvian authorities plan to celebrate the 35th anniversary as a World Heritage Site with a series of activities throughout the year including a photographic show, competitions, book presentations and symposia.

In July, the photo exhibition “35 years of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchuwill open and present the book Natural Machu Picchu” to show the “other unappreciated component” which is the diversity of the area and, according to Nieto, “It will give value to all the advances in environmental research” that have been done.

In August two competitions for students of Cuzco, related to the design and composition of an essay on the sanctuary, and in October a symposium on Cultural and Natural Research will be held in Machu Picchu will be promoted.

World Renowned Attraction
The historical and natural sanctuary of Machu Picchu has a total of 32,592 hectares where 4,187 species of fauna and flora like twelve ecological systems that allow the existence of this unique biodiversity is conserved.
The Inca ruins are Peru‘s main tourist destination, with an average of 2,500 visitors a day, so that in recent years the authorities have taken a series of measures to ease tourist traffic, such as opening evening hours to reduce the amount of people visiting the place during the first hour. (EFE)

Real People, Really Good Coffee Update December 2015

December is the month of short days in the northern hemisphere. As I write this today, however I’m in Peru where summer has recently started. Yet, in spite of the disconnect from my “normal” winter hibernation mode, it is still a time of reflection and remembrance as the year ends and a new one soon starts.

The year in review: From the farms

The Curibamba Coffee Project

This year we started to see good things at every level. The farmers seem to be more enthusiastic about the project than ever, and it’s no wonder with coffee prices being in the basement. Overall quality of the coffee has improved each year, and with a large effort to get solar drying tents and tables into the majority of the smallholder farms we’re expecting that quality will be better again with the 2016 harvest.

Meanwhile, we’re streamlining the purchase process, and besides buying the higher quality micro lots, we’ll be also buying coffees that are specialty grade (although below the quality of the best lots,) and paying a premium to be able to fully support the coffee growing community in the hills above San Ramon. Rather than picking and choosing only the “winners,” we’re taking a more holistic approach, and making sure that every farmer has an opportunity to receive a just price for their coffee. We will continue to test each and every lot in the lab, and work for the highest quality possible.

Curibamba was featured in Expo Milan this year, as well as the Mistura Foodie Fair in Lima. It’s currently being sold and enjoyed mainly in the southwest states of Colorado, California, Arizona, Nevada, & New Mexico, but also as far east as Ohio and Wisconsin.

We will continue to focus our support efforts on solar drying tents and tables, but we’re also working with agricultural engineers to see what might best serve the growers. It may be new coffee trees, or strategic washing stations, we’re awaiting input from the fields.

Every year brings more education on the specifics of harvesting, fermenting, and drying. Edegel will be funding not only the educational programs, but will continue funding for the agricultural engineers, organic fertilizers and assistance with promotional programs for the brand. Read more

Peru Joins the International Coffee Organization

Peru has become the latest country to join the ICO (International Coffee Organization.) The benefits of being a member are a big plus for Peru. By enacting more standardized procedures including: traceability via regional tracking of coffee crops, training, and more importantly shared information on conditions in the fields, the end result can be beneficial to all involved in the coffee supply chain. Congratulations Peru!

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Peru have become the latest two producing nations to be accepted into the International Coffee Organization (ICO).

The Executive Director of the ICO Robério Oliveira Silva met with Ambassador of Peru to the United Kingdom Claudio De la Puente this week, to deliver the new member’s instrument of accession to the International Coffee Agreement (ICA).

Peru’s accession and DR Congo’s ratification brings the ICO’s exporting membership up to 24 countries.

Peru’s total coffee production in crop year 2014-15 was 2.9 million 60-kilogram bags.

Full article here: DR Congo and Peru join the ICO | Global Coffee Report

About the ICO (from the official website:)

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) is an intergovernmental organization created under the auspices of the United Nations to serve the international coffee community. Established in 1963, the ICO is unique in bringing producing and consuming countries together to exchange views on coffee matters and market conditions, and address coffee policies. Among the services provided by the ICO are: up-to-date information and statistics; innovative projects to benefit the world coffee economy; coffee market reports and economic studies; consultations on coffee sector finance; as well as conferences and seminars.

The Organization is working to promote an awareness of the need for a sustainable coffee economy by making stakeholders in the coffee sector aware of the threat to sustainability posed by negative economic conditions for producers, and proposing measures in areas such as quality, promotion and diversification to maintain balance in the world coffee market. Recognizing the exceptional importance of coffee to the economies of many countries which are largely dependent upon this commodity for their export earnings and for the achievement of their social and economic development goals, the Organization also encourages sustainable development and poverty reduction in producing countries through projects which have as their principal beneficiaries the coffee producing countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific region.

The International Coffee Council will hold the 4th World Coffee Conference in 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of the conference will be confirmed soon.

Oxapampa: Secret Austrian-German community in Peru

Oxapampa is close to where we get a large part of our coffee, a region with a substantial number of descendants of German, Austrian, and Italian immigrants. Way out in the jungle, who would have thought?

Came across this excellent article about Oxapampa & the surrounding area. It’s a beautiful city in a higher region, and is known for it’s natural grandeur, and also for the fine cheeses that are produced here plus an abundance of fruits and vegetables. One immediately notices the different European style homes, and those names that aren’t Spanish…

Thanks to Jorge R. for this one.

Via HubPages:

Oxapampa, Peru: The secret Austrian-German community in the Peruvian Jungle

Oxapampa is a city 5,941 feet (1,814m) above sea level located in the Pasco Region of Central Peru, in an area known as the Selva Alta or “high jungle”.

Lima is 282 miles (454km) away from Oxapampa and the journey by road will take about 8 hours (in a four wheeled drive vehicle), and 11 to 12 hours by bus.

Roads around the area are mainly rubble surfaced or dirt tracks, and distances between places may seem reasonable until you factor in the poor condition of the roads which are frequently washed away by floods and landslides.

There are a number of tour companies providing package holidays, guided tours and activity based trips to Oxapampa and its surrounding regions.

HISTORY

About a third of the population living in Oxapampa are descendants of a Tyrolean (Austrian) and Prussian (German) community of 70 families that settled in the region in 1859, initially in Pozuzo which is 50 miles (80km) away.

The colonists originally arrived at Port Callao in Lima after a four month journey by sea. They immediately encountered problems as Peru was entering a state of civil war. Some chose to stay in Lima while others sailed to Port Huacho where they were not well received by the local authorities. Read more

Dollar closes week at S/ 3.36, highest since 2006

The Peruvian Sol continues to fall against the dollar reaching levels not seen since 2006. Via El Comercio Peru:

The exchange rate rose on Friday to a maximum of more than nine years for purchases of dollars to companies and institutional investors due to increased expectations of a rise in the US key interest rate in December and fears about the health of China’s economy.

The dollar rose 0.21% to S / 3.363 units, matching the level of 7 April 2006. Meanwhile, the parallel exchange rate was S / 3.365.

To mitigate the decline, the Central Reserve Bank (BCR) sold US $ 70 million, at an average exchange rate of 3.3609 units.

During 2015, official sales total US $ 7.569 billion, while the local currency recorded a drop of 12.85%.

“Instability and weakness of China’s economy, the approaching end of the year and the odds for the US Federal Reserve to raise rates, continue to generate demand for dollars from corporate and institutional,” said one agent.

Full Article Here: Dólar cerró semana en S/.3,363, su nivel más alto desde el 2006 | El Comercio Peru

Sierra del Divisor: 5 keys behind creating a new national park in Peru

Peru has just created a huge new National Park in the Amazon region of Ucayali.

Via El Comercio Peru (Translating via Google Translate with author’s corrections for clarity.)

The new Divisor National Park is a mountain resort located in the Amazonian lowlands, in a territory of 1,354,485 hectares (3,347,005 acres) corresponding to the territory of Ucayali and Loreto.

According to the National Service of Protected Natural Areas by the State (Sernanp), the Sierra del Divisor is geologically one of the oldest areas of the Amazon and has spectacular landscapes and is very inaccessible.

Another interesting observation point is that in the area there are species that only exist there. Its importance has meant that, finally, the Government has determined that Divisor pass be reserved as a national park. Read more