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Tropentag, September 17 - 19, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic

"Bridging the gap between increasing knowledge and decreasing resources"

Competitiveness in the Peruvian Asparagus Industry

Janet Karina Valverde Vilcara, Wolfgang Bokelmann

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences, Germany


Peru has experienced a remarkable economic growth in the last years. Despite the global financial crisis of 2009; it is one of the fastest growing countries in Latin America. In Peru, the export is a very important economic activity that has been driving this growth. However, as the main Peruvian exports come from the extracting industries like metals and mining products, the poverty rates remain high in rural areas. Agricultural exports give a chance to Peru not only to improve their overall economic performance but also to promote the economic development of the rural regions.

Asparagus with its high international demand and prices was an astute choice. Asparagus has a history of almost 50 years in the Peruvian agriculture, and it has given Peru experience and recognition as an agricultural export country. Currently, Peru is the largest asparagus exporter worldwide, with its main commercial type being the green fresh asparagus. The asparagus industry has also offered employment in urban areas, leading to social and especially gender dynamics in these areas. The Peruvian asparagus industry is believed to be competitive. Is that really the case? And if it is, do we know the reasons for it?

This research presents an investigation into the competitiveness of the Peruvian asparagus industry and the circumstances of its international competitiveness out from the perceptions of experienced industry actors. To improve the value chain performance in an increasingly global market, Peruvian asparagus industry actors must have a clear understanding of how to assess their competitive position and how to affect their determinants.

In the first part of this research, we predominantly use different measures of competitive performance. In the second part of this research, an empirical study is performed, using expert interviews from the asparagus industry in Peru. The study assesses the importance of several factors of the value chain competitiveness. Further analysis of qualitative data is still ongoing.

Keywords: Asparagus, competitiveness, determinants of competitiveness, industry, performance competitiveness

Contact Address: Janet Karina Valverde Vilcara, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences, Kaiserstrasse 141, 12105 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: janetkarina@hotmail.com

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