Peru has one of the highest yields per hectare in intensive crops in the world, according to the figures of the United Nations Food Organization (FAO), the firm Yara said. In table grapes, for example, Peru is a global leader with a productivity of 24.7 tons per hectare on average compared to the 20 tons obtained by Chile and the 17.3 tons obtained by the United States.

In asparagus, Peru is also the world leader, producing 11.8 tons per hectare, surpassing Mexico (8.7 tons per hectare), Chile (5.5 tons per hectare), Argentina (4 tons per hectare), and the United States. (3.6 tons per hectare), according to FAO statistics for 2016.

Agroexportation and small agriculture

Agricultural exports in Peru have grown at a vertiginous pace in the last decade in terms of export volume and value. It is estimated that agroindustries will export the US $ 7 billion 200 million at the end of 2019.

"The growth of the sector is mainly due to the fact that we meet the demand for increasingly demanding markets: products of good quality and durability in high quantities. However, the reality of small and medium-sized agriculture is not the same. Unlike agro-industry, small and medium-sized agriculture has one of the lowest yields per hectare in potatoes, coffee, and corn."

The average national production of potatoes does not exceed 15 tons per hectare; while countries such as Chile exceed 21 tons per hectare and the Netherlands manages to reach yields of more than 50 tons per hectare.

Low use of fertilizers

One of the main causes is the low or zero application of fertilizers throughout the crop production cycle. According to the last National Agricultural Census (2012), it is shown that Peruvian agriculture is characterized by a limited application of fertilizers. That is, more than 55% of farmers do not apply any type of fertilizer due to lack of knowledge, lack of access, or tradition; while, of those who use (44%), only 25% apply for an adequate crop nutrition program with the exact doses in each stage of the crop.

For Paulo Yvan, Regional Director of Yara PacĂ­fico Sur, giving up on the application of fertilizers is a bad agricultural practice that brings severe consequences.

"Not only do farmers impoverish the quality of their crops and produce in insufficient quantities to generate profitability, they also do not return the nutrients that were absorbed by the plants back to the soil. We are facing an unsustainable scenario when we should produce more in less space. This can guarantee adequate management of the crop with a balanced and dosed nutrition program".