17/10/2017 | Ingles

Argentina's citriculture is experiencing a boom

The entry of Tucuman's limes to the US market helped make visible an item that is unknown by many but that represents an important source of income to the country.

Citriculture is a solidly installed industry in the north of Argentina that will have a strong presence in Aliment.AR, Latin America's first class A food exposition that will be held in Tecnopolis from November 8 to the 10.

The citrus industry is undoubtedly the most important fruit sector in the country, it has around 5,200 producers and more than 300 packing plants that employ more than 100 thousand people. Its share in the national GDP is almost 4% and the volume of exports stood at around 1.2 billion dollars last year, competing with the livestock sector and surpassing, for example, the fishing sector. Furthermore, Argentina is the world's leading lime producer.

"The citrus sector is the leading employer in the country's primary food production, we employ far more people than the extensive grain producers," said Jose Carbonell, president of Federcitrus, the association that brings together entrepreneurs and producers of Argentina's fresh citrus fruits; an entity that will participate and accompany the realization of the first edition of Aliment.AR. "We have been growing steadily, making very significant investments with a low level of indebtedness and high tax compliance," he added.

The activity is concentrated mainly in seven provinces of the NOA and the NEA regions, from where the Argentine citruses are deployed all over the world. The main export destination is the European Union, but there's also has a strong presence in Canada, the East, and Eastern Europe (Russia and Ukraine have been very important customers for many years). "We have been able to undertake a task of opening new markets thanks to the accompaniment of the Government. Some openings have been very publicized, like the opening of the American market for our limes, and others have been less known, such as the opening of the Vietnamese market, the reopening of Indonesia, or the first exports of oranges to South Korea," he stated.

Argentina is also trying to access the important Chinese market and working very insistently to recover Japan. "The great challenge for the entire sector is to win over the Latin American market. In that sense, the opening of Mexico and Brazil this year has a lot of significance and a great projection for the future," stated Carbonell, who insisted that the quality and sanitary consistency of the Argentine citrus fruit is well-known worldwide.

The head of Federcitrus also said that Aliment.AR could be a good opportunity to maintain contact with new buyers, access unknown markets, and give greater visibility to the obstacles and challenges faced by the sector to continue growing at the local level. "We want to showcase our potential but also our reality, which is similar to the rest of Argentina's fruit production: we need less taxation, greater access to credit, improved ports, improved logistics and a certain degree of flexibility," Carbonell said.

Source: freshplaza.com