PERU – The Peruvian mango industry is expected to have approximately 8,500 fewer export containers this season due to the hot weather and heavy rains caused by El Nino and Cyclone Yaku, respectively.

The impact of the cyclone, which hit the country in early March 2023 for the first time in 40 years, coincided with the onset of the El Niño Costero phenomenon.

The El Nino phenomenon, on the other hand, coincided with the mango flowering season. The hot weather caused significant damage to the plants, resulting in the current reduction in yield.

“Mango needs a minimum temperature of 60°F to flower (and produce fruit), but temperatures have been above 69°F,” explained Milton Calle, the vice president of Promango.

“In Piura, there is nothing left to do, and there are fields where losses have reached 100%.” 

According to Fernando Hidalgo, the export manager of a Peruvian exporter, this year’s conditions in Peru have presented entirely new challenges in the industry, shattering previous paradigms and reshaping the understanding of mango cultivation in the country.

According to him, key indicators such as daily minimum temperatures and cumulative low-temperature hours were significantly affected and underwent a complete transformation.

“Now we understand that the effects we see on the farms are the consequences of two main factors,” explained Hidalgo.

“The farms received heavy rains during the Yaku cyclone in late February and early March, and we experienced hot weather during the last quarter due to the El Niño.”

Last season, 12,000 containers of mangoes were shipped for export. However, for the next harvest, only 3,682 containers are projected to be shipped worldwide.

The 70% decline is consistent with the significant decrease in production. Furthermore, if an average of 700 containers left the country each week in the previous season, the new projection is only 200.

This includes the mangoes of Piura, Lambayeque, and Casma, without taking into account Moro, which has 3,000 acres.

Meanwhile, according to the World Economic Forum, the fresh produce industry can mitigate the risk of crop failure caused by climate change by diversifying the crops they cultivate.

This strategy can help ensure that even if one crop fails due to El Niño, other crops can still be harvested.

It is also crucial to note that El Niño is just one of many challenges faced by the fresh produce industry.

Inflation, labor issues, war, extreme climate events, the pandemic, and a decline in fresh produce consumption are some of the challenges faced by the industry, as stated by The International Fresh Produce Association.

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