Fruit Productivity and Competitiveness Andean

Call for Proposals
USD 400.000
Counterpart Amount:
USD 896.349
Execution time
42 Months
Total Amount:
USD 1.296.349
Participating countries:
Colombia Colombia Ecuador Ecuador Spain Spain Peru Peru
Funding source:
FONTAGRO Amount 31% Other agencies 0% Counterpart Amount 69%

Executive Summary

Fruit growing worldwide grew at 3% annually in the last decade. Asian countries are the main producers contributing around 60% of the world volume of fruit production. South America produces a quarter of Asian supply, and although Brazil is the first producer in the region, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have gaining importance in this activity. In these countries the contribution of smallholder and family farmers to the fruit production is very important. On the coming decades they have to maintain and improve the quality of the supply of fruits while preserving their production chain competitiveness. To reach these goals they have to overcome big challenges for fulfilling aspects such as phytosanitary requirements, productivity, research, technical assistance, infrastructure, price volatility and access to credit, among others. Colombia is the fifth largest Latin American fruit producer. In 2013 there were 83,058 hectares planted with citrus fruits, generating 24% of direct fruit employment. From 2010 to 2015 the total value of fresh fruit exports and the agribusiness sector to the European Union grew to US $ 62 million and US $ 2,016 million, respectively. Among the most important fruits are avocado, passionfruit and citrus. Granadilla (sweet passionfruit) exports grew 17.2%, while purple and yellow passionfruit exports increased in 2015 35.4% and 18.7%, compared to 2014. Similarly, in 2015 Colombia was the fifth largest avocado producer in the world, with a planted area of 28,000 hectares. Exports between 2010 and 2015 multiplied 82 times and by November 2015 reached US $ 8.9 million. Peru was the eighth world largest provider of fruit and vegetables in 2015, especially asparagus, grapes, avocados and mangoes, and it is also an important producer of blueberries, Hass avocado, berries and pomegranates. Ecuador is a world leader in banana exports and passion fruit concentrate. In the country there are 4,286 hectares of passion fruit, where 6,800 family farmers harvest around 9,000 tons per month. In the case of avocado, it is estimated that there are 650 hectares with an average annual production of 27 tons, and 500 hectares with the Hass variety that is characterized by higher yield and oil quality. The latter variety has the potential to expand the crop area (up to 100,000 hectares) and exports. Pulp, extra virgin oil and butter from avocado are processed for national and international markets. In the case of granadilla, the area planted is 332 hectares, being the most important producing areas being the provinces of Tungurahua, Loja, Pichincha and Imbabura, according to the III Ecuadorian National Agricultural Census. However, the Andean citrus, passionfruit and avocado fruit chains have limitations that restrict their competitiveness. Among them, productivity, transformation and integration of the commercial chain are the main identified problems. From the productive aspect, it is necessary to adapt the comprehensive agronomic management of pests and diseases, to implement certification systems and improve the technical support to the producer. Improvements in management practices are considered to increase resilience and rationalize the use of water, fertilizers and agrochemicals. In bioeconomic terms, in addition to the production of fresh fruit, it is also important to extract and stabilize natural ingredients, biomaterials and bio-products. Regarding the transformation processes, the Andean region needs to improve the processes of industrialization of the fruit that allows the development of new value –added products and food by-products. From the commercial aspect, scenarios of price instability, high intermediation in marketing, low developed agribusiness with poor infrastructure are identified concerns, which limit the possibility of sectoral expansion and access to new markets. Moreover, this scenario is also affected by the inter-annual climatic variability that increases the vulnerability of fruit plantations and, therefore, the economic benefits of family farmers. The main objective of this initiative is to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the avocado, passionflower and citrus fruit chains through coordinated actions between producers, processors, marketers, academic and training institutions to implement climate change adaptation technologies, and improve the quality and shelf life of fresh fruits or their derivatives. The specific objectives are: (a) Estimate crop irrigation water needs and install three pilot farms with fertirrigation equipment, (b) Estimate water and nutrient needs as well as volume of waste and carbon footprint of each fruit chain, (c) Characterize and monitor the quality and safety of the supply of fruit and develop or improve products derived from them, and (d) Strengthen transfer programs of the proposed innovation model for at least 100 productive units. The direct beneficiaries will be at least 2,000 family farmers from Colombia (Caldas, Risaralda and Cauca Antioqueño), Ecuador (Imbabura, Pichincha and Manabí) and Peru (Piura). Additionally, researchers, students, and other agents in the value chain of the fruits mentioned in each country are indirect beneficiaries. The expected benefits are the development of validated technologies that allow the improvement of productivity and quality of fresh fruit and waste management, which facilitate market access and generate an increase in the profitability of the Andean fruit farmers. With the development of new products and by-products on a commercial scale, the market can be diversified. For example, the use of bio-pesticides will be encouraged to reduce the use of agrochemicals and their residual effect and improve the quality of the fruit. The achievement of the mentioned results will allow the strengthening of national research entities and associations of family farmers. This will develop a continuous process of innovation that allows market diversification, and improve the competitiveness of the value chain of these non-traditional fruits. With the implementation of the work plan, the following results are expected: a) the establishment of the baseline, monitoring of water and nutrient balance, carbon footprint; b) measuring and ferti-irrigation set-up and start-up; c) development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) on the Internet, with spatialization of some producing areas; d) characterization and monitoring of the quality of the fruit supply by zone; e) proposals for the integral use of biomass generated through biorefinery schemes. This initiative comprises an internal and external communication strategy to facilitate the flow of information and dissemination of results to all the actors in the fruit chain. This project will facilitate the development of innovations that improve the technical improvement of family farms, increasing their productivity and quality of their fruit, and generating economic benefits for the stakeholders of the Andean fruit value chains. The generation of public information will be an important contribution to the advancement of precision agriculture and will have a positive impact on the fruit chains involved and the consumers.


Sustainable Development Goals

Zero Hunger Clean water and sanitation Decent work and economic growth Responsible consumption and production Climate action Life on land

Main donors

Participating Organizations

  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL) - Colombia
  • AKIS - España
  • Frutierrez Latinamerican Perishables Inc. (FLP) - Colombia
  • Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura (IICA) - Ecuador
  • Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) - Ecuador
  • SENA - Colombia
  • Frutierrez Latinamerican Perishables Inc. (FLP) - Perú
  • Frutierrez Latinamerican Perishables Inc. (FLP) - Ecuador

Graphics and data

Financing by country (in USD)
FONTAGRO Amount Other agencies Counterpart Amount

Geolocated Map

Publications and resources

With the support of
Fondo Coreano de Alianza para el Conocimiento en Tecnología e Innovación (KPK)