The president of the Association of Blueberry Producers of Argentina's Mesopotamia (APAMA), engineer Alejandro Pannunzio, stated that the region's blueberry harvest began a week ago. "There is already some early fruit being harvested from the fields in the region, but the bulk of the harvest begins in October and it peaks in November," he said.
The area dedicated to this crop has decreased from 1,040 hectares planted in 2019 to 921 hectares in 2020. Asked about how this decrease would affect the workforce that the sector demands for the season, Pannunzio said: "These are problems we are going to have. Logistics will become more expensive, the supply chain won't be able to serve us as well as before, and there will be less labor."
In addition, people from other places are not going to come to harvest this year because of the pandemic, and the ones who collect the Emergency Family Income (IFE) cannot sign up to work because they would lose this benefit, he added. Pannunzio also said there was a problem due to the shortage of flights to export the fruit abroad, which in turn resulted in higher costs.