Argentina: Sales of melons from San Juan increased by 40%

Melon shipments from San Juan to the Central Market of Buenos Aires (MCBA) grew by 39.4% during the 14-15 campaign and amounted to 2924.6 tons, making it the MCBA's largest provider of this fruit in the country as it concentrated 26.9% of what the market purchased from the different regions of the country.

Thus, the province temporarily displaced Santiago del Estero and Mendoza as the main providers in the country in a year where average melon sales in this market fell 20.93%.

According to engineer Oscar Liverotti, a head of the Quality and Records Department of the MCBA, this demonstrates the positive impact the "Melon de Media Agua- San Juan Geographical Indication" has had. The Integral Assistance for Value Added Agricultural Products from Cuyo (Procal) at the request of the Minister of Production in San Juan, Marcelo Alos, along with producers, the Municipality of the department of Sarmiento, the AER INTA Media Agua and the Sarmiento Agro-technical School, among others, developed the geographical indication.

It's worth noting that Sarmiento accounts for 50% of the area devoted to this crop in the provinces and that, after four years of scientific research, they were able to demonstrate that the differential quality of the white melon produced in their area was linked to their lands and to the know-how of their people. 

From the market
Regarding the general drop in input of melons in the MCBA, Liverotti said: "I don't have an exact answer as to why sales have dropped. Our statistics are based on the amounts that appear in the fruit and vegetable guidelines. According to our records, the supply of melons in the MCBA has decreased over the past 16 years. I think that could be due to many reasons. What we notice is that there was a much higher number of varieties or commercial types of melon 15 years ago than nowadays. I think it was a fruit that was consumed by all social strata 30 years ago, i.e. a mass audience, and that it is becoming a fruit consumed by a public with purchasing power, which in turn decreases its demand and offer."

Among other important data, Liverotti stated: "I have no statistics showing an increase in the Media Agua Melon. San Juan's participation, compared to other production areas, went from 15.3% to 26.9% in the 14/15 campaign."


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