Chilean agriculture is expected to become part of the 10 largest food exporters in the world by 2020

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Agriculture in Chile is a strategically important sector. The objective is to make Chile part of the 10 largest food exporters in the world by 2020. At the moment Chile is round about No: 20. From the beginning of this century food export increased by an average of 12% annually. Further processing and surplus values are central in the policy.

Primary production is only a small part of the gross national product. Because of the closed-in position of the country sanitary provisions are second to none and these are a pillar of the export success in agriculture. The borders of the country are therefore very carefully guarded.

The difference in seasons make it possible for Chile to supply large quantities of fruit to the northern hemisphere. It is the largest exporter in the world of table grapes, the second largest exporter of kiwi and avocado and leading in apples, pears and hard fruit. Chile is responsible for 2% of the worldwide production of cherries, but that is equal to 80% of the out of season demand.

Those three fruit exports account for about 60% of Chile’s total fresh fruit exports to foreign markets. Chile’s livestock industry is also hurting from the low valued U.S. dollar, though not as badly as the fresh fruit sector.

The SNA predicted a 3 to 5% growth rate for livestock-related industries.

Vineyard production – wine exports – are expected to grow 8 to 10% in 2011, but this high rate is largely due to the poor growth shown in 2010.

The forestry sector is expected to grow 6 to 8%, driven by considerably better prices for cellulose on international markets.

Seven food products have achieved number one in exports in world markets. These are: fresh grapes, frozen salmon, fresh blueberries, frozen trout, fresh plums, smoked fish and dried apples. Other food exports in which Chile ranks second in the world are fish fillets, fish meal, fresh cherries, Atlantic salmon and dried plums.

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