Family: Arecaceae

Latin name: Bactris gasipaes

Vernacular name: Pijuayo

Ethnobotany
Pijuayo fruit is eaten cooked, as a fermented beverage (“masato”), and even in ice creams. It is a feed for livestock, and a good fish bait. The trunk can be used in construction, but it is usually spiny and not very strong. It is currently promoted as a source of palm heart for export.

Agroforestry
The “peach palm” is well known for its rapid growth and versatility in non-flooding agroforestry systems. More than 1000 palms per hectare can be managed in a multi-species agroforestry system. The fruit will attract animal pests to the field, which then feed on other crops. This species tends to harden the soil and hog nutrients where it is located. Therefore, it can have a strong influence on the land-use decisions made by farmers for many years after it is cultivated. Dense plantings of the palm (> 5000ha) are being promoted for the palm heart industry. Once harvested, the palm can regenerate quickly.

The peach palm is often left standing when creating a new chacra. Huamansama trees were also left here.

The peach palm is often left standing when creating a new chacra. Huamansama trees were also left here.

Pijuayo palm fruits are very nutritious.

Pijuayo palm fruits are very nutritious.

A young peach palm in a homegarden. Note height of fruits.

A young peach palm in a homegarden. Note height of fruits.

Palm heart from the region of Loreto.

Palm heart from the region of Loreto.

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