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Paraguay: Farmers call for a national plan

Representatives of the fruit and vegetable sector have stated that the country needs a national plan to strengthen certain areas in order to export and to exploit the great potential and opportunities there are at the international level. They highlighted the important demand there is for pineapple, banana, and mango, and the need for investments to meet this demand, according to a report by the Union of Production Guilds (UGP).

Alfredo Ledesma, a member of the Paraguayan Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers, said that Paraguay had the potential to export many other fruits, such as watermelon, papaya, avocado, and mango to Argentina and to other destinations, and that the country needed a national plan to help producers sell their production in the local and international markets to increase the area of crops.

Ledesma said they could export mangoes to Argentina if they had a hydrothermal treatment plant, which would eliminate the possible fruit fly larvae that the mango could have. The plant would require an investment of 20,000 to 50,000 dollars, which could come, either from the private sector or the Ministry, to promote exports of new items.

He also said that Argentina currently had a strong need to import pineapple, which is why they were allocating their largest fruits, the ones that weigh between 1,000 and 1,200 grams, to that market. He also said Argentina required a lot of bananas because Ecuador was unable to provide them, due to the logistical problems caused by a recent earthquake.

He also said that there had been an increase in pineapple production, to the detriment of banana production. Moreover, he said that the government of Cristina Kirchner, in Argentina, had implemented tariff barriers that reduced imports of Paraguayan banana, and that this was the main reason why many producers had stopped producing them.

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