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Argentina: Mendoza expects apricot harvest to only amount to 6,000 tons

The apricot harvest in the 2014 season was fairly good, as there was a significant amount of fruit. The first estimates for the 2015 season indicate that there will be a sharp decline in production and the outlook for producers is quite gloomy. 

According to the preliminary estimates of the Institute of Rural Development, "the province is expected to achieve a total volume of 8,282 tons in the 2015 season, i.e. an incomplete harvest. This is due to the frost that affected the Eastern Oasis and the Southern Oasis at the time the varieties were flowering." 

This is a strong hit for an industry that is losing ground, where many producers have decided to stop harvesting apricots and leave them to rot on the ground of farms because of the fruit’s low prices. 

According to the data from the IDR, San Rafael and General Alvear will only produce 6,111 tons of fruit, less than 50% of what they produced last year when only San Rafael produced more than 9,000 tons and both departments achieved more than 15,000 tons. 

This sector is in critical condition, as it has been affected by the weather and low profitability for many years; two factors that have caused fewer producers to bet on this fruit. 

The numbers speak for themselves. "The area devoted to this crop has fallen in the province since 2012, from 1,524 hectares to 1,149 hectares this year. This decrease is mainly due to the plantations that have been abandoned and eradicated," stated the IDR.

Currently, San Rafael and Alvear account for 54% of the hectares cultivated with apricot in the province. However, only 622 hectares are being worked, marking a sharp decline in recent years.


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