By Hillary Ojeda
The Guardian recently reported the serious consequences for Peru due to Chinese grown maca.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR), Prom-Peru, and growers agree to improve management of the growth and production of Peruvian maca root.
With the signing of an institutional agreement, these three entities will be working to strengthen professional and managerial capacities of producers of maca, promote maca internationally, and support the process of its industrialization, according to El Comercio.
The Maca Producer Association, MINCETUR, and Prom-Peru will be working with the entity, Specialized Export Route,to fine-tune implementation of management systems, organic certification, developing market research, etc.
“At first we provide all the tools and training they need to work in a continuous, successful and secure form. Gradually they are seeing the success being achieved which comes from increasing their exports and in positioning our products in the world,” said the head of MINCETUR.
This agreement comes a at critical time in the Peruvian maca market. The past few years have seen challenges in the industry as biopiracy and smuggling have damaged production and output. Patents for maca that challenge its place of origin, Peru, have been applied for in the hundreds from around the world. China made up most of the patents with others from Poland and even the United States. Smuggling and biopiracy within China has become such a problem that the governments are working together.
According to El Comercio, the United States accounts for the most exports at 34% worth US$ 9.7 million and shortly after Hong Kong with US$ 5.3 million and China with US$ 5 million.