Since Argentina declared a state of sanitary emergency due to the spread of the coronavirus in the country, restrictions on mobility have become a problem for fruit producers in the province of Entre Ríos.
Juan Stivanello is an agricultural engineer and advises citrus producers in the Chajarí area, where mandarins and some oranges, lemons and red grapefruit are currently being harvested. "The biggest problem we have now is the lack of mobility of the harvesting crews," he says.
The various measures curbing circulation adopted by the municipalities are also making things tough. "It is a problem, because we cannot put things on hold. If we don't harvest the fruit now, it will fall and rot. We cannot leave it there. And we also need to supply the markets," he says.
In order to continue, all precautions recommended by protocol are being taken, including personal and environmental hygiene measures, disinfection and distance between workers. Also, this period (from February to April) is the busiest time when it comes to the shipment of oranges from cold storage.
"We must emphasize the value of agriculture as an irreplaceable activity. Producers would also like to stay indoors, but the productive sector cannot stop. Not only because all the fruit would be lost, but also because it would lead to shortages and considerable price increases,” says Juan.