Managro is working to carry out an ambitious plan to expand Hass avocado production to guarantee the availability of high-quality fruit throughout the year. Chagai Stern, the executive director of the entity, said Managro had the goal of buying 3,700 hectares of land this year for the exclusive development of Hass avocado.
The manager said this would require investing 60 million dollars, i.e. three times as much as the Colombian conglomerate has allocated so far in other agro-industrial developments.
He also said the markets preferred the Hass avocado produced by Mexico, Peru, and Chile because of its quality and that the price of the Colombian product fell when there was a harvest in those countries. On the other hand, the Colombian product is more attractive and has greater recognition when these countries are not producing.
However, this advantage is at risk as, for example, Peru is looking to extend its harvest times. The challenge for Colombia is to improve its avocado, he said. If the other countries start to produce avocado throughout the whole year, the markets would no longer take into account the Colombian offer. "We want to bring genetics to improve quality," he said.
Managro is a conglomerate focused on the agricultural sector that has been working in Colombia for years. The company began producing milk in the Puerto Boyaca area and then decided to direct efforts to other products: it dedicated itself to buying land and today it has about 1,000 hectares in the country, where it produces mangoes, Hass avocados, Tahiti limes, and pineapples for export.
Its main clients are in the United States and Europe. Last year, the company exported 3.7 million kilos of fruit from the packing plant it bought in Palmira, Valle del Cauca; a volume that the company plans to double in 2021.
Stern said the difficulties generated by the national strike had not discouraged the company's business. “Foreign investors invest all over the world and they have a global view. This happened in Chile, in Washington, and even in Israel. These types of demonstrations don't last too long. Obviously, international banks are paying attention to the situation in the country. However, foreign investors don't see the demonstrations as a long-term issue that would prevent them from continuing to help the country develop," he said.