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Peru: Growing asparagus in the desert of Peru

General information
Project location: Peru

Sjeng Hoefsloot is a successful Dutch entrepreneur living since many years in Peru where he runs several businesses. In 2005 he contacted us looking for funding for his farming enterprise to invest in asparagus plantations. Our first contact developed into a very fruitful relation that continues till date and has so far resulted in 300 ha of asparagus, a modern packing plant and jobs for hundreds of employees through a succession of projects:

  • In 2005, the Dutch PSOM programme provided grant funding to rehabilitate saline soils on the coast at Chincha Alta and plant 100 ha of asparagus, grown under GlobalGAP certified conditions. The project also set up a HACCP-certified packing plant and trialled fresh asparagus export by sea to Europe.
  • In 2009, the Dutch PSI programme approved grant funding for the development of 100 ha of asparagus in the Pisco valley, introducing subterranean drip irrigation and organic cultivation.
  • In 2010, the German DeveloPPP programme awarded grant funding for a project that supported small farmers in Chincha Alta to establish 50 ha of asparagus plantations through an innovative contract growing arrangement.
  • In 2010, the Belgium development bank BIO approved a concessional loan to support the investments in asparagus plantations.

We thus managed to leverage the investor’s own resources by securing around $5 million in grants and concessional loans. More importantly, the funds were used to develop land that was previously unproductive due to saline and desert conditions but today sustainably generate value and employment in a poor region of Peru. Profits are reinvested to expand, diversify and add value to the production, setting in motion a snowball that continues to grow … in the Peruvian desert!



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