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Bolivia increases chestnut exports

According to Edwin Endara, an executive of the Federation of Trade Unions and Chestnut producers, Bolivian chestnut exports between January and August this year increased by 18 percent when compared to the same period of 2016.

According to the official, sales in the first eight months of 2017 amounted to more than 20.4 million dollars.

He also said that the damage that affected the 2016 harvest had helped improved chestnut prices worldwide, and that prices abroad continued to rise. Currently, a 23 to 24 kilogram-box of chestnuts sells for $100 dollars. In 2015, the price was US $90 and in 2016 it stood at $95 dollars.

Endara added that the Bolivian chestnut was one of the best quoted abroad because it occurred naturally and was not planted, as is the custom in neighboring countries.

According to the executive, Bolivia is working on the issue of care and handling of the product, after it leaves the mountains, and in its transfer to warehouses and factories.

At the moment, producers are getting ready for the next harvest, which will start in December, one month before it usually begins.

Chestnut farmers in the departments of Beni and Pando are working on eight productive projects to generate alternative employment sources in favor of the 10,000 workers affected by last year's low production, which was affected by a drought, unstable rains, and forest fires.


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