Argentina: Blueberry harvest concludes in Entre Rios

The Blueberry Producers Association of Mesopotamia Argentina stated that the harvest of the fresh fruit season has ended successfully despite the inclement weather. Concordia contributed seven and a half million kilos of the nearly fourteen million kilos produced at the national level.
Governor Gustavo Bordet was presented the final numbers this weekend in Concordia.

The Blueberry Producers Association of Mesopotamia Argentina (Apama) announced the country's closing numbers of the 2015 blueberry harvest. Omar Chiarello, president of the organization, said the harvest in Concordia had ended last week. The first numbers show that the Argentina's Northeast produced in total seven and a half million kilos, ninety percent of which was produced in the more than one thousand hectares devoted to this production that Concordia has. Regarding employment, this production had a total of approximately two hundred and eighty thousand wages, i.e. more than one hundred million pesos were allocated for the harvest workers and to Concordia's economy.
These numbers positioned Concordia as a leading provider of blueberries nationwide, as it provided more than half of the total production of the country, which is expected to close in about fourteen million kilos. This year also closed positively for the sector with concrete progress in the opening of the Chinese market and the enabling of credit lines for installing anti-hail mesh, a debt that blueberry producers have wanted to settle for a long time. Both achievements were obtained thanks to the efforts made by Apama and the national, provincial, and local authorities. 

"We ended a harvest that was hit by hail. We lost a total of almost two million kilos in the region, so we only produced seven of the nine million kilos we had projected producing," Chiarello said. "Still, we believe that it was a positive harvest because we could maintain the level of employability and harvesting," he added.

Regarding the national export picture, so far the country has already delivered some 14,212 tons of fresh fruit via air and sea shipments. Estimates are that by the end of the season the country will have exported 14,600 tons. 65% of exports were shipped to the United States, 30% to Europe, 3.5% to Canada, and the rest to other destinations.

A meeting with the governor
These same end of the harvest numbers were presented on Saturday morning at the meeting held at the headquarters of Apama between the governor Gustavo Bordet, Apama authorities, and associate producers.

The governor visited Apama's headquarter with the Minister of Interior, Mauro Urribarri; the Minister of Production, Carlos Scheppens; Concordia's mayor, Enrique Cresto; Deputy, Armando Gay; the provincial senator, Angel Giano, and all the provincial and local officials in the management of the province's productive areas, including Nestor Loggio, Gustavo Labriola, and Lucio Amavet, the head of Agriculture of the province.

The meeting was described by Chiarello as highly positive. In it, the governor listened to the demands and the main outstanding problems of the sector. The ministers took note of the demands and answered questions from producers.

Among the most important issues, the producers asked the formal inclusion of blueberries as part of the regional economy and state assistance to prevent the spread of fruit flies in the area.

Bordet was willing to continue the dialogue and told his ministers to address the priority issues in the coming months.


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