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Argentina: Fruit sector requires urgent measures at start of new season

The fruit sector is worried because production times are different than political schedules. The fruit sector needs the new government to ensure they will implement the measures they committed to before the end of the year, as the harvest of pears in the Rio Negro Valley and Neuquen starts in the first days of January. However, the new Government takes office on December 10 and will only be able to start outlining specific policies so that the sector can overcome its economic problems on that day. Thus, even though politicians have made promises, hardly any measure will be defined before the tenth of December.

Many producers will stop the harvest as there is a lot of uncertainty what they will get for it, as the new value of the dollar, the funds are available to begin harvesting, and the decree to eliminate export taxes have not been defined. It happened this year, when producers didn’t harvest about 300 million kilos of pears and apples, which resulted in more than 200 million dollars in losses for the entire system. There’s fear that history is repeating itself. "We are within days of the start of the season and we have no indication of where we are headed to in economic matters," said an exporter when asked about the issue. It’s not the same for the regional fruit growing sector that the price of the dollar is at 9 pesos or 14 pesos.

The producers and exporters have doubts about the time that the political power needs to execute the measures that the fruit sector is demanding are enforced within a few days. The name of the next Minister of Agriculture is still unknown and will only be known this week. As such, the sector can’t proceed with negotiations it’s trying to implement.

The elected national deputy, Sergio Wisky, reassured the sector by stating that the members of the government’s future economic teams could advance the dialogue with producers and entrepreneurs to start looking for a solution to the sector’s crisis and that their goal was to have some measures in place before the start of the harvest. However, he stressed, it’s necessary for the change of government to get the dialogue on track.


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