Climate change could benefit Argentine garlic

According to a study carried out by scientists from the Argentine Institute of Nivology, Glaciology and Environmental Sciences (IANIGLA), dependent on the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), the National University of Cuyo, and the Government of the Province of Mendoza, the rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns associated with climate change could benefit garlic cultivation in Argentina.

According to the study, the temperature in the central Andean region is expected to increase by 3 to 4° C in summer and by 1 to 2° C in winter. In addition, summers will be rainier in the cultivation areas and the glaciers will receive less snow.

“Garlic is a winter crop, so the variations in rainfall won't affect its growth much. However, the harvest and post-harvest stages will be more complicated,” stated Jose Antonio Portela, a researcher from INTA La Consulta de Mendoza. "Producers will have to adequate structures for the conservation of their garlic until sale. Currently, only 30% of the national production can be stored this way."

The study also states that, according to a trend in recent years, there will be higher temperatures during spring, which would benefit this crop. However, it would also favor the development of pests and diseases. "If producers don't anticipate all these adversities and take measures to mitigate them, their production costs will increase and the sector will lose profitability," the researcher stated.

"If the local garlic producing-packing-marketing sector gets organized and agrees to take advantage of the situation, the climate changes could become an opportunity to enhance the value of Argentina's garlic in the global context,” he added.



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