Brazil will reopen its borders to Argentine pears and apples

The Minister of Agribusiness, Luis Miguel Etchevehere, reported that Senasa officials have reached an agreement with their Brazilian counterparts to lift the ban on the entry of Argentine pears, apples, and quinces to that market. He did so through his Twitter account.

The agreement was reached after the meetings held on Wednesday, March 6, between officials from Argentina and Brazil for the reopening of the border, closed on February 27.

The Department of Plant Health and Agricultural Consumption of Brazil suspended imports of pears and apples due to the interception of 9 shipments with carpocapsa in January and February.

According to the president of the Federation of Producers of Rio Negro and Neuquen, Sebastian Hernandez, the closing of the borders was a political decision.

On Friday, March 1, Etchevehere, and the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) of Brazil, Tereza Cristina, held a teleconference in which they discussed the deepening of preventive actions against the carpocapsa in establishments in Patagonia.

"Brazil was willing to listen to Argentina's position and to analyze the plan of additional measures that Senasa will propose," the national agency said in a statement.

Technicians from the National Plant Protection Directorate of Senasa presented an agenda that will reinforce the pest control plan in the Alto Valle.

The producers and specialists of the sector acknowledge that the business is undergoing a reconversion in the midst of a crisis that has been going on for more than a decade and that already affects the fruit's quality.

Voices from the industry assure that only nearly 500 of a total of 1,200 officially recognized producers in the Upper Valley of Rio Negro and Neuquen comply with all the control regulations.

The government of Rio Negro does not agree with this assessment and contradicts it.

"There are very few producers that do not carry out controls and there are 3,000 hectares of abandoned fruit trees; that weighs more than inefficient controls," said a provincial source to Telam.

Senasa fined the exporters Fruta Sensación and MVC SA and the firms Full Lemu, Marisel Martinez SRL, Manso Rio SRL, Teorema SRL, Frigorífico Cinco Saltos SA, according to official reports.

These companies were defined as non-traditional exporters to the Brazilian market.

The governor of Rio Negro, Alberto Weretilneck, targeted a small group of exporters, but the producers insist that the problem is broader.

"Fruit production isn't like soy production, it requires producers to be present and personal tasks. It's no coincidence that establishments of more than 1,000 hectares have presented problems or disappeared. A crisis like this one makes it very difficult to maintain quality control," stated Edgardo Kristensen, one of the most renowned producers of Cipolletti and member of that town's Consortium and Chamber of Producers.

Source: with information from Télam

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