Name Agricola Pampa Baja SAC.
GGN 4050373819149 Website http://www.pampabaja.com
Country Peru

Profile:

Agricola Pampa Baja began its activities in 1999 with the production of fodder and paprika pepper. Currently the estate has 1288 hectares located in the south of Peru, in a place called “ pampas” of Majes (flatlands) in Arequipa, 900 km south of the city of Lima, Peru’s capital. Located at approximately 1000 meters above sea level, this deserted area is characterized by having clay loam and temperate climate. The irrigation water is of pluvial origin (rainfall water), and is collected at the Condoroma dam located at 4158 meters above sea level (capacity of 280 million m3 of water). The irrigation water also comes from the Siguas River, which is distributed via tunnels and irrigation channels.

APB is a company with a main focus on export agriculture. At the same time the company has the largest dairy farm in the country, greatly complementing the agriculture activities. The lands of the company are totally enabled, equipped with irrigation infrastructure of high quality, and are professionally managed with top of the line technology in all of its stages. In a few years we have become one of the most recognized Peruvian agro exporters, being the only Peruvian paprika producers with GLOBALG.A.P. Certification. We have this certificate since 2005.

We produce and export a great variety of vegetables such as onions, artichoke as well as peppers; at the same time we also produce fruits such as grapes, avocados, citrus and pomegranates. Due to the great climate conditions we can produce year round. We have two packing facilities, one of them for fresh fruit where we can pack up 65 000 kg and 40 000 kg per day of grapes and avocados respectfully. The second packing facility processes peppers and vegetables with a capacity between 2 and 5 tons per hour. Job generation in the area of influence is of about 1600 jobs that can increase up to 2000 in peak seasons, providing also around 550 indirect jobs.

 

Achievements:

As previously mentioned, the agricultural activity of APB started in a desert ecosystem, which corresponds to a habitat with low representation of flora and fauna that according to Brack (1983) belongs to the arid subtropical life zone. This habitat started to improve as a result of the agricultural production resulting in an ecological equilibrium. Our activities formed an ecosystem named “agricultural ecosystem”, that allowed an increase in the zone’s biodiversity. When identifying introduced and invasive plant species, we found 80 species grouped into 36 families. Out of these 80 species, 52.5% were introduced species (not native of the coastal arid area where our agricultural lands were established), and 47.5% of species were native to South America and Peru. This last group of species corresponds to organisms that have evolved and adapted to this type of habitat, but that have invasive traits. The plant families with more registered species were Asteraceae (12 species) and Poaceae (10 species), given that they possess rapid and efficient dispersal ability, colonizing life forms, zoochoric dispersal or dispersal mediated by humans. The most frequent and abundant species in the zones under study were: Chenopodium spp., Melilotus indica, Senecio vulgaris, Sonchus spp., and Plantago major.

We also identified 25 species of birds. These birds can be better grouped according to their economic importance into the following feeding guilds: granivorous, insectivorous, frugivorous, and carnivorous or predacious. Out of the registered species, 5 were granivorous and frugivorous, 6 insectivorous, 3 pollinators, and 11 were predacious. Carduelis magellanica (hooded siskin), Sicalis luteola (grassland yellow finch), Zonotrichia capensis (rufous-collared sparrow), Passer domesticus (house sparrow) and Zenaida auriculata have a diverse diet based on grains and fruits, and also contribute to seed dispersal. Conirostrum cinereum (cinereous conebill) and Chordeilis acutipennis (lesser night hawk) both consume flying and terrestrial insects, being species of benefit to the agricultural lands by controlling plague insects; similarly, Nothiochelidon cyanoleuca (blue-and-white swallow) between others are biological controllers of aphids, with higher abundance of this species in the fodder cultivation area. We also found raptors (birds of prey) such as Falco spp., Geranoaetus melanoleucus, Athene cunicularia, etc that occur within APB controlling rodents and intimidating other birds. The presence of certain endemic birds in the area of APB is an indication of adaptation to the new ecosystem, in response to an increased food supply. We also registered the presence of shorebirds such as Calidris sp. (sandpipers) and Charadrius vociferous (killdeer), which indicate a local migration from adjacent shore areas in the search of food and shelter.

Weather and biological conditions, in addition to the availability of food in this new agro-ecosystem also favoured the presence of other vertebrates such as Microlophus peruvianus (Reptilia, a lizard), Carassius carassius (Osteichthyes, a fish), and 3 species of rodents. We also registered beneficial invertebrates belonging to 8 families. These also corresponded to predatory and plague parasitoid guilds. Overall, the presence of this relatively large diversity of biota within an arid environment demonstrates the efficiency of the good agricultural practices conducted within APB.