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Colombia: Hass avocado from Cauca will be shipped to the US in April

The first exports of Hass avocados to the United States from the Valle del Cauca could be ready by the end of April.

Milena Banguero, the Secretary of Agriculture of the department, said they were currently working on the preparation of 50 farms planted with avocados, with the aim of selling them in foreign markets.

"This is part of the National Goverment's Agro export program which prioritized two lines: Avocado Hass and pineapple," she said.
The properties to grow the avocado have already been selected and now the authorities are accompanying the producers so that they obtain the certifications, and achieve the expected quality and volumes needed to serve the American market.

"The idea is to accompany these growers in the technical and commercial part, at least in the development of two exports, so that they can have the necessary knowledge to maintain the business," Banguero said.

According to expectations, the first harvest that meets the international market's requirement, especially those of the US, the market they're aiming for, will be ready by the end of April.

According to the Secretary of Agriculture, at present the Valle del Cauca could have about 3,000 hectares of avocado, given that it was, together with the pineapple, one of the crops with the highest growth in 2017.

This was ratified by Rodolfo Ahumada, the commercial director of Pacific Fruit, which has experience exporting Hass avocado.

"The planted areas are increasing in places like Versalles, Toro, Tulua, Algeria, Sevilla, La Tulia and in other places where Chilean and Peruvian companies have started to invest in this crop. As a result, the Valle del Cauca will become one of the 3 biggest producers of Hass avocados in Colombia in 2 to 3 years," he said.

The Valle del Cauca has the best land for agricultural projects, such as pineapple, Red Globe grape, mango, papaya and citrus. This has helped the Valley become a department of agricultural vocation that produces high quality products.

The Ministry of Agriculture said the region had a strong commitment to fruits and that the goal was to double hectares in a short and medium term.

"For example, we are supporting the opening of the Asian market for pitahaya. We are going to formalize the productive chains of the citrus fruits, and we want to improve the quality of the pineapple for export, not increase hectares."

The official also said that they had the money to expand the planting of cocoa by 300 hectares and that their focus with the National Federation of Coffee Growers was to develop special coffees.

This year the Government of the Valle del Cauca plans to invest a little more than 7 billion to boost the agricultural sector, not including the resources to support the fruit plan.


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