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Argentina: 128 million kilos of stonefruit lost to frost in San Rafael

There is much concern for the agribusiness crisis in the department of San Rafael. The production has been decimated by the frosts and, according to calculations, thousands of jobs lost have been lost.

La Linea Cooperative made a detailed report stating what San Rafael lost because of the frost. "We want the community to know the impact that the loss of crops will generated," they said.

According to their report, the area will lose 90 million kilos of D'agen plums, 30 million kilos of peach for the industry, and 8 million kilos of apricots, which add up to a total loss of 128 million kilos of fruit.

Additionally, the region will lose 255,170 harvest wages of people working in the industry and 21,333 freights, which means there will be more or less 7,000 to 9,000 fewer jobs in the agribusiness sector.
Regarding the D'agen plums, they said that "San Rafael harvested 100 million kilos of fresh plum and produced 33,400 tons of dry plums in 2015. 10% of that was harvested with machines and the remaining 90 million kilos were harvested manually. "Producers harvest about 600 kilos on a daily average which means they have to pay 150,000 eight hour wages to harvest all the plums."

Regarding costs, the report states that "the crop's value ranges between 0.80 to 1 peso per kilo, so producers will lose 90 million pesos in labor."
"The freight cost of moving 6,000 kilos is 1,000 pesos. Producers need to pay 15,000 freight to move 90 million kilos, which means the sector also loses 15 million pesos," they added.

And the list continues taking into account the drying of plums, where losses amount to 28,506 wages.
"The south produces 30 million kilos of peaches for the industry. Producers collect 800 kilos a day manually, so collecting all of the harvest requires 37,500 daily wages, which at 2015 prices means 15 million pesos less," they said.

"Freight losses amount to some 5 million pesos, and there will be some 5,000 wages lost in the canning industry and about 26,500 wages will be lost in the pulping industry."
According to calculations, apricot workers will stop perceiving 10,000 wages and the market will stop moving 4 million pesos.

Freight losses will amount to 1.3 million, and the pulp industry will lose 2,664 daily wages.
"Additionally, we must take into account pears, quince, and other fruits, which would further increase losses.This means that thousands of farmers will not receive any money from the sale of their products. What's more, in the last days the frosts also affected the vines, so there will be more losses," they said.

"The economic contribution of our activity is vital for commerce, the industrial sector, workshops, and to generate labor," they said, adding that they needed the Government to assist them "with financial tools to support the sector so that there isn't an exodus of workers to urban areas."


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