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Argentina: 14% increase in area planted with garlic predicted
The estimate for the 2017 winter horticultural area foresees an overall increase of 6%, driven mainly by a growth in the number of hectares planted with garlic.
According to the report presented to the Under Secretary of Agriculture Alejandro Zlotolow by the Institute of Rural Development (IDR), garlic production could grow 14% over the previous year, which is four points more than the increase registered in 2016.
Also, for this year the good news is that it would present substantial improvements in the quality of the product.
Meanwhile, the onion would increase 2% compared to 2016, occupying 6.5% of the surface planted.
However, hectares planted with other crops, such as green leaves (lettuce, chard, spinach, among others) would mark a decline, as would potatoes and carrots.
According to the field survey and digitization and geo-referencing of plots through images, the total area planted with winter vegetables increases from 13,615 hectares to 14,441 hectares, and garlic surfaces go from 9,292 to 10,551 hectares.
The distribution of the hectares with these crops happens 51%, in the Uco Valley; 29% in the center (the so-called green belt); 10% in the North; 6% in the East and 4% in the South.
Although horticulture represents the third agricultural activity in the province, with 31,200 hectares in total (summer and winter), behind the production of vines and fruit trees, it is the activity that employs more labor in the area and the second that more contributes to the GGP.
The report places Mendoza as the second province with the highest amount of hectares with horticultural crops, behind Buenos Aires, representing 14% nationwide.
Steady sharp spike in garlic
Garlic production has maintained a steady growth for some years. In 2016 this crop represented a proportion of 64% of the surface area, while this time it would rise to 73%, which is expected to produce close to 130,000 tons.
The cultivation is done mainly in the center of the province and, with an estimated growth of 38%. It would reach 1,921 hectares, followed by the Uco Valley, the North and the South. There is a decrease in the number of hectares implanted only in the East zone
85% of production is for consumption (74% is exported and the rest goes to the domestic market), 13% goes to seeds and 2% to industry. The main market is Brazil, where it has an incidence of 34%.
From the study carried out by the IDR it is also clear that good product quality is expected, because it was planted early. Another fact is that 55% of those planted are purple garlic, 34% red, 6% white and 5% other types.
In addition, the climatic conditions have been favorable, not having registered extreme cold periods.
Another factor detected was the tendency of many producers to technify irrigation and to beginning drip irrigation.
Publication date: 10/4/2017
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