Who didn't move my cheese?
Although goat cattle predominates in Piura Coast, it does not consolidate a market for competing beyond its boundaries yet.
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The chapel in Cañas, the town amid the dry forest in Marcavelica
(Peru), where there is a fair dedicated to goats, which samples we are
going to see along this story.
All photos by William Curay, provided to FACTORTIERRA.NET
MARCAVELICA, Peru - Taking advantage of September 24th Piura's
holiday, in Cañas Village an habit has been started during the last six
years: having a fair dedicated to goat cattle. It is about one of
the three towns benefit with projects to generate productive chains
around the milk of those animals brought by the Spaniards in 16th
century, those found a pretty good environment at lowlands here.
Cañas is about 25 km or 15,5 miles to the north of Mallares Town, what is 13 km or 8,8 miles to the northwest of Sullana City. The road is easily accessible as light as it rains.
approximately 210000 families work and depend on growing goats. The
majority of those little growers have unsatisfied basic needs. In Piura
case, the majority lives at Equatorial Dry Forest, a coastal ecosystem characterized by surviving from underwater when rains stop to fall.
Between 2012 and
2015, only 12% of this cattle was used to produce milk, according to
Regional Government of Piura, contributing with 76500 liters mainly
directed to make cheese. The remaining 88% was used to obtain meat.
During that same
lapse, it was assured that Piura Region got the first place growing
that type of cattle across Peru. "As cows predominate in
Cajamarca, goats predominate in Piura," Marcavelica District
Municipality's Councellor Darwing Chunga, a zootechnician too,
commented to FACTORTIERRA.NET.
"The goat's milk
contains a high level of protein (20,3%) low level of fat (7,8%), and
minerals (0,8%)," Agriculture Authority of Piura highlighted, as
projected in 2015 around 281880 cattle heads, Andina official news
In 2014 and
according to Peru's Agrarian Census, there were 256860 cattle heads. In
2012 there were 425955 cattle heads as annual production, that
superated 2011 in more than 14000 cattle heads.
Province has the major goats population inside Piura.
Around 87000 cattle heads were estimated in 2015, and 102794 cattle
heads in 2012, mainly located in Lancones District. Although sources did not specify a number, they assure Morropón Province has got the second place, and Chulucanas District particularily - growing is concentrated at Ignacio Távara Pasapera Farmer Community.
cheese offers as a comparative advantage much protein than cow's
and a similar composition to human milk, what theoretically avoids
allergic reactions or intolerance, plus its potasium low content is
favorable for people with kidney conditions, but it is not recommended
for children and teenagers because they are growing up, not keeping
fit. Additionally, it is saturated fat low quantitty and its digestion
is much better.
Programme For Supporting Competitive Productivity (ProCompite)
has been working business plans in both provinces as well as Piura and Talara ones. In the last one, it was looked for improving genetically the cattle of a growers association in La Brea
Disctrict to obtain milk directed to make cheese. Also they were
implemented with a processing mini plant, empowered their business
skills, signed up for sanitarian registration to enter to markets in
Piura, sullana, and Talara, that included labels,then Investment
Promotion's Regional Deputy Manager Mario Arellano told.
Regional Government of Piura assures that they attended projects in San Juan de Bigote and Morropón (Morropón) and Cura Mori (Piura) Districts as well.
In 2016, Sierra exportadora Programme has trained growers in Marcavelica (Sullana) and Paimas (Ayabaca)
Districts with a clear inttention: Piura to produce goat's cheese, at
least two months of maduration, with possibilities to penetrate in
Peru's capital city, Lima, and perhaps addressed to exportation.
Marcavelica and Paimas have agricultural zones because of Chira and
Quiroz Rivers respectively, they also have large dry forest areas where
there is no irrigation and there are settled population disperse
or in little towns.
Those persons work in agriculture as much as it rains in ssummer and grow minor cattle, goats, mainly, those became part of the rural postcards next to carobs and almost-useless donkeys.
was the growing only allowed them to survive as much as they sell meat
or milk so limited, cheese eventually, and there is where government
programmes try to empower skills and implementing them primarily.
Could they make competence?
advised in wearing adequate dressing to assure safety of the product,
also to have an adequate display that eases their penetration in
national market," National Programme of Matured Cheese's Chief Hugo
Valdez Osorio stated. He argued that if goat's cheese productivity in
Piura and Tumbes is developed and increased, then production could
cover the goat's cheese demand of Lima, reducing importation.
1 kg or 2,2
pounds of goat's cheese obtained in Sullana costs around three U.S. dollars,
while the same kilo of goat cheese imported from France costs 30 times
more expensive. Paradoxically since 2013, Peru's Ministry of
Agriculture tries to increase milk demand inside the country, shocked
down in mid-2017 after claims of some industrialized products
were not animal-based but soja juice basically.
Peru does not
export goat's cheese, however consumption levels seem to be
attractive across the Atlantic. Cheese consuming in Spain is generally
over 7 kg or 15,4 lbs per capita in a year. In Europe, leader
consuming countries are Greece, France, and Netherlands, those reach in
average 30 kg or 66 lbs per capita in a year, Sierra Exportadora
experience of this government programme is not the first one. After
signing the Peru-Ecuador Peace Agreement in 1998, some non-profit
private organizations received funds to stimulate the
competitivity of cattle communities along Piura.
Care Peru developed this programme with goat growers in Suyo
(Ayabaca) and Lancones (Sullana) Districts. In the first case, they
worked wwith some towns along Pan-American Highway between Las Lomas
and the detour to Ayabaca, in the second case they worked mainly with
Both districts produced blanc-mange and custard (natilla), a typical Made-In-Piura
candy. Suyo gave up in favor of illegal mining and discontinued the
production, while Cabrería survived as it could and it is now one of
the mandatory atractives in Cañas' fair.
And the fair
looks for keeping open the commerce channels with the largest markets
in Piura Coast. There is much enthusiasm, efforts to generate
associativity, but the promotion is reduced only to explore some
stores and punctual recommendations of some consumers.
And what comes up once the fair ends?
Facing a very
promising possibility for Piura, marketing plans have to be reviewed
from growers associations, and beginning to release them from
government support for they to learn how to promote and compete.
Are the growers ready to walk their way like their agile goats?
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