General Artigas's garlic producers, presented the results of this year's harvest. Besides obtaining excellent quality products, they ventured into the cultivation of new varieties of this vegetable with the goal to encourage and increase production in the area. The presentation ceremony was held yesterday at the private market Abasto Norte, in Limpio, where the national garlic will be marketed.
The District of General Artigas, Itapúa department, was considered for decades the national capital of garlic due to the many families who were devoted to the cultivation of this vegetable obtaining excellent productions.
One of the promoters of garlic production in the area was the former Ambassador for Taiwan in Paraguay, Agustín Liu. His entrepreneurship encouraged villagers to return to this crop.
Gerardo Lopez, manager of the Diversity Agricultural program of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), recalled that garlic crops in that district began in 1973 with the help of Taiwanese agronomists who came to the country.
He noted that in 1973, one of the pioneers was producer Eliodoro Nunez, who had been cultivating this vegetable. However, he did not do it continuously, since back then it wasn´t very profitable.
The MAG official said the moment they got technical support, villagers began to learn more about the garlic's properties and marketing benefits.
"That's when Ambassador Agustín Liu starts to play an important role. He was always backing small producers. Since he came from a producers family, he always knew how to guide and encourage the production with a constant improvement," he said.
Lopez added that due to the characteristics of the soil, vegetable production was a novelty for the excellent quality that was obtained.
But unfortunately, at the beginning of the 90´s, garlic production fell due to numerous factors.
He mentioned that one of them was the lack of support to producers, a more demanding market, smuggling, among other factors.
"However, in recent years crops started to be an option for many families," added Lopez.
National Garlic is produced in greater amounts in General Artigas, Itapúa department.
About 5,000 kilos of garlic domestic production will be available in the Abasto Norte from Limpio, in Bloque Temporales.