With the implementation of the fruit plan in Cauca Valley, plans are underway to increase the acreage devoted to fruit production (currently 25,000 hectares) by 50% in the next eight years.
This was announced by Juan Guillermo de la Torre, the Valley's agriculture secretary, at an agribusiness event in Cali.
The region has a budget of 12,000 million Colombian pesos to invest in 12 fruit species, such as papaya, pineapple, melon, citrus, passion fruit, chontaduro, avocado and pepper, among others, which have a great potential in markets like Canada, the United States and the European Union, which have Free Trade Agreements with Colombia.
Currently the region's annual production of fruit and vegetables is close to 500,000 tonnes, from which US$ 2.2 million are exported. "The Valley's North and Central regions have the optimal conditions to become Colombia's "fruit centre", which would turn Cauca Valley into one of the country's social and economic backbones," said De la Torre. For her part, María Eugenia Lloreda, director of Invest Pacific, said that while opportunities to increase exports are there, the sector's challenges focus on the efficient management of health and phytosanitary regulations and the improvement of internal logistic costs.
Buenaventura is the gateway to Asia
According to Johan Martinez, chief financial officer of the Colombian Association of Sugar Cane Growers (Asocaña), the importance of the Asian market for Cauca Valley has to do with the fact that this continent is the largest food importer in the world, and Buenaventura is favoured by the most ideal geostrategic location, facilitating the transit of goods between both countries.