Producers expect to harvest some 15,000 tons of blueberries this season

Argentina's blueberry harvest begins

The blueberry harvest in the fields of the Concordia department, Entre Rios, and Mesopotamia began a few days ago. This fruit has a strong export vocation and its harvest will peak in October and November.

Producers expect to harvest a total volume of about 15,000 tons in an area estimated at 2,300 hectares. Alejandro Panuzzio, head of the Association of Blueberry Producers of Mesopotamia Argentina (Apama), said that there had been a new setback in the area destined to the fruit in this new season, a trend that has been ongoing for years. It's worth noting that 20 years ago, the production area doubled the current area, standing at 4,800 hectares.

"It's not that big or small producers in Concordia are merging, it's not that things are being segmented by companies or by branches; it's that every year a big or small producer, indistinctly, is closing his business," he said. Regarding the international situation, he said: "There are more and more competitors who are closer to the destination markets or buyers. That geographical proximity favors them. For example, Mexico began to strongly produce blueberries destined for the United States; Peru is another country that had a strong increase in production. We are at a disadvantage because we are farther away from the destination markets so we have higher logistics and fruit conservation costs, among other costs. Europe, another buyer, is also sourcing more of its supply from Spain and Morocco."

In addition, Argentine producers have also been affected by the country's internal economic crisis. "Prices and costs in pesos increased by 70%, and the dollar changed by 30% with respect to the peso, but in turn, our dollarized inputs also increased. So we face an increase in costs both in pesos and in dollars," he said.

Of the 15,000 tons expected to be harvested this season, 45% come from the Entre Rios and Mesopotamia fields; a similar percentage comes from Tucuman and northern Argentina. The remaining is grown in some regions of the province of Buenos Aires and some sectors of Catamarca.

 

Source: unoentrerios.com.ar 


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