(Oct. 14) ODENTON, Md. — An importer plans to bring in winter sweet corn from Peru via ship.

Richard Andreski of RoseHaven Associates is working with Peruvian growers to develop the counter-seasonal business. He said a new variety of sweet corn, mirai, has a long shelf life and can arrive with a lengthy selling period despite the 12-day ocean voyage from Peru to the U.S. via the Panama Canal.

The corn will be shipped in controlled-atmosphere containers.

He said test shipments have shown the corn still retains its eating qualities.

He noted that the variety has done well in Japan. It was developed by U.S. corn breeder David Mackenzie, who worked on it for seven years.

Andreski, who also works with Canadian potato growers in Prince Edward Island, said the corn grows well in the coastal region of Peru north of Lima, at altitudes ranging from sea level to 2,000 feet. He believes that by shipping the corn by sea rather than air, the price can be kept competitive. The Peruvian corn will be grown and shipped under the name Picassofarm.

Andreski pointed out that there is an import duty on fresh sweet corn, but that by treaty the U.S. waives the duty for Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador under the Andean Trade Preferences Act. The areas pegged for growing corn are Chiclayo and Trujillo.

“We hope to start a new industry in Peru,” Andreski said.