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Argentina Is The Tenth Biggest Producer Of Apples In The World
- May 29, 2018 -

The Argentine apple was one of the main actors that boosted the fruit and vegetable sector of the Upper Valley of the Rio Negro. It's golden age took place between the 60s and 70s, and Brazil was -practically- the main buyer of Argentina's apple production. However, Brazil started producing genetic varieties of apples that mature in warm climates.

Top fruits - like apples and pears - need cold, sun and little moisture during their ripening period. Argentina produces the Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Gala, and Granny Smith varieties.

90% of the production takes place in the Alto Valle, which has some 20,500 hectares planted. Around 25% of it belongs to small and medium producers. The integrated producers -such as Kleppe, Cervi and Moño Azul- are some of the owners of the rest of the apple orchards. They produce, harvest, pack and sell it. There are also about 270 medium and large packers.

Half of the production is for the domestic market, and 15 to 30% of it is exported, especially to Russia and Brazil. The fruit discarded is used to make juices, jams, and derivatives.

Exports also decreased because, with technological advances, exporters can't take advantage of the counter season. Today, apples are stored for more than a year in cold storage facilities. In addition, China, which is the main producer and exporter of apples to the world, as it accounts for 50% of the world's total apples, is a great competition.

Argentina is the tenth biggest producer of apples in the world and the 14th biggest exporter. In 2017, the country produced a total of 650 thousand tons of apples.

Europeans, on the other hand, eat and cook the apples they produce in a myriad of ways. "The restaurants of the Alto Valle should create dishes with seasonal products. The apple is a versatile fruit that can be consumed in many ways."

"The Invernal variety is harvested between mid-January and the end of April," stated Maria Dolores Raffo, an agronomist at the UBA and research coordinator of INTA Alto Valle del Rio Negro.