Lack of commercialization puts Argentine citrus in check

The citrus sector of the Argentine province of Misiones is concerned because it might, once again, lose thousands of kilos of fruits due to lack of commercialization. Nothing has changed for workers since the citrus emergency situation, which covers the producers of Entre Ríos, Corrientes, Misiones, Jujuy, and Salta was declared in May 2019; the workers still ask for greater boosts to the production and the speedy commercialization of these fruits.

In the case of Misiones, the picture is even more daunting as - according to farmers - producers can't compete with the citrus fruits that enter from the province of Entre Rios, which displaces local production.

Ricardo Ranger, a producer from Misiones, said the scenario was not very bright and that he doesn't think things will change in the short term. "Last year we lost 2 million kilos of lemons and now we have a million and a half of oranges in the plants and we don't know how we are going to sell them," he said.

As a result of this situation, several producers from Misiones have decided to change crops and abandon lemon, orange, or tangerine crops, which are no longer profitable for trade.

According to the producer, “the fruits that enter from Entre Rios is brought in returnable drawers, which means they bring the trucks and unload them in the greengrocers, practically giving the citrus fruits away. Meanwhile, we can only take out our production in packed boxes. Each box costs 40 pesos and our costs are getting more and more expensive. We can't compete like this.”

According to Ranger, this is due to a provincial provision and they have already contacted authorities to try to modify it and to generate new incentives for the workers in the sector.

He also said that the citrus situation, in general, was very bad because sales were very low and the juice industries didn't produce enough to cover the entire domestic market.



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