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Argentina: San Juan lost 328% of acres of garlic in five years

In the last five years, San Juan, which in 2008 had 3000 hectares of garlic planted, has gradually been losing its garlic crops and now barely has 700 hectares distributed in the departments, i.e. 328% less, according to the producers. They claimed that this is due to the product's lack of profitability.

Bruno Perin, who was president of the Garlic Chamber for many years, said that, even though there was no agricultural survey this year, producers estimated that there were about 700 hectares in the province. "We still have customers, but we lack profitability, we can not sow and we are losing international quotas that were hard to get. Last year, we lost $14 million dollars because we had no garlic to sell," said Perin.

The producers decide to stop planting or to plant fewer acres because of the same issues: the internal cost inflation, the situation of the dollar and the difference between the official rate and the parallel one, among others. "Our costs have increased but not our profitability. Currently, people who are cultivating are losing money, but that's part of the producer's spirit: you always have high hopes that next year will be better," said the producer.

In Calingasta
The decline is also large in Calingasta, which had become the Mecca of white garlic for export. "It is currently at the lowest level it's been since we've been here, we have about 250-300 acres, tops," he said.

"Less than 300 acres of garlic were planted in Calingasta when there used to be more than 800," said a producer. "No one can invest to sell a product at $10 to have 5% deducted once sold."

Calingasta grows 12 tonnes of garlic per hectare, a number that varies according to the treatment applied by the producer. This production is intended entirely for export.


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