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Bolivia: Sharp rise in production of onions.
Onion production grew from 55,000 tons in 2006 to 87,000 tons in 2017, however, imports grew from 228 tons to 15,000 tons in 2015, and by June 2017 totaled 6,000 tons, according to data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE).
"Bolivia went from cultivating 55,000 tons during the 2006-2007 agricultural year to 87,000 tons in 2016-2017. Likewise, in this last year the cultivated area reached 8,000 hectares," as stated by the analysis.
The yield per hectare in this last period reached 11,000 tons, the maximum since 2006.
In July the Minister of Rural Development and territories, César Cocarico, said that Bolivia is a country self-sufficient in food production, because in 11 years the production of potatoes increased from 8,016 to 1 million tons; onions went from 50,000 to 80,000 tons; and tomatoes from 43,000 to 61,000 tons.
He stressed that between 2006 and 2016, food production increased substantially from 7 million to more than 14.7 million tons, and anticipated that this year it will reach 18 million tons.
This year, he said the food supply will grow by 3%.
The department of Cochabamba is the leading onion producer with 40%.
Data from the National Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Innovation (INIAF) show that this product occupies the fourth place in the world production of vegetables, with a volume of 57.9 million tons.
In Bolivia the main producing regions are Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, Santa Cruz and La Paz. This product is one of the most consumed.
According to the IBCE analysis in 2006, Bolivia exported 128 tonnes of onions, valued at $ 12,000, however, after 2007 sales declined and after 2010, the country stopped marketing the product abroad.
Due to the fact that there was a surplus to export to outside markets, imports in 2006 were barely 228 tonnes and amounted to US $ 11,000.
2015 was the year that most onions were bought from abroad with a volume of 13,000 tons and a value of 651 thousand dollars. As of June this year, 6,000 tonnes of onions were imported, mainly from Peru.
According to the IBCE, Brazil is the main importer of onions in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2016 it acquired 60 million dollars worth.
It is followed by Mexico (26 million dollars), Colombia (12 million dollars), Panama (9 million) and Honduras (8 million), among others.
These countries may be potential buyers of the Bolivian onion, says the IBCE.
Publication date: 8/25/2017
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