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Colombia: Passiflora has big export potential in Europe

As was confirmed in the II Latin American Passiflora Congress, which ended last week in Neiva, and which was attended by the entire production chain and international speakers who discussed the sector's current topics, Passiflora fruits, produced in large volumes in the department of Huila, have a big export potential, especially in Europe.

According to Marisol Parra Morera, executive director of the Research Centre for Passiflora Technology Management Corporation (CEPASS), Passiflora exports could increase significantly in the coming years thanks to the various free trade agreements that Colombia has signed, especially with the European Union.

She said that, currently, Passiflora exports amount to $17 million dollars a year, a figure that could increase if producers establish a comprehensive exporting plan that includes better infrastructure and logistics to achieve this end.

"Producers have high expectations but are also very anxious to conquer new markets. They have great interest in associating to create an export scheme, we are just starting the process and, at the Congress, we held a meeting with Proexport's export manager as well as with exporters to create this strategy so that the Passiflora market will expand," said Parra Morera.

According to the records of the Research Centre for Passiflora Technology Management Corporation, last year, Colombia exported 4,005 tonnes of Passiflora, mostly gulupa, passion fruit and granadilla.

However, statistics make it clear that these fruits have gained ground in the international market as annual exports of these products have increased gradually.

For example, in 2009, total exports of Passiflora amounted to 3,285 tonnes, which increased to 4,035 tonnes by the end of 2010. In 2011, the record went down to 3,358 tonnes. By July 2013, exports totalled 2,068 tonnes and the major destinations were The Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada and Aruba.


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