Physalis or Inca berries from Peru
The bright orange berries with their papery sepals known as physalis or Inca berry not only look great, they are also full of antioxidants and vitamins. The fruit is consumed mostly locally, but it has also attracted interest in the North. In Peru’s highlands a variety is cultivated with an exceptional sour-sweet flavour. However, the farmers lacked technical knowledge which affected yields and quality. Furthermore, the region is so remote that market access is a problem.
At the end of 2013, AgroAndino and the TDC launched a project for the development of 30 hectares of crop land, for high-quality seed material, for technical assistance to 180 farmers by agronomists and for quality control systems. This led to organic certification. Although AgroAndino first only produced dried berries, they also produce fresh berries now. The drying line, worked mostly by women, is a local initiative which means added value returns to the local community. For the local market the business invested in derived products such as sauces and jams which create additional jobs.
The results are clear to see: between 2013 and 2015 production increased 100%. Over the same period, the revenues of 180 families increased 350%.