Uruguay´s citrus industry on the rise
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Citrus production in Uruguay represents approximately 1.1% of the gross agricultural product and generates an income of US$ 60 million. It is one of the main non-traditional export commodities after rice and dairy products. #adp02
The activity has consolidated an export-oriented production chain in the country, increasing its productive processes of vertical integration (production-processing-trading). Half of the annual production is exported (counter-season sales) and the rest goes to the domestic market, consumed as fresh fruit or processed products (juice, concentrates, pectin’s base, pellets for animal food).
Citrus production in Uruguay will grow by 18% (48,000 tons) in 2012, compared to the previous year, reaching 318,000 tons, reported the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (DIEA).
This division of the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (BHAG), explained that the producer expectations for the production of the 2012 harvest is similar to those reported in the 2010 harvest.
The largest increase is expected in mandarins, followed by oranges. Grapefruit production continues to decline.
According to the 2012 Citrus Autumn Survey, oranges will reach 156,237 tons, 16% more than in 2011; in mandarin 120,097 tons, 29% more, lemons 39,965 tons, 5% more, and grapefruit 2,481 tons, 31% less.
This season will get 318,780 tons of citrus, 18% more than the 270,372 tons in 2011.
Significant changes made by the citrus chain in the logistics of the production system (variety change, use of irrigation systems, changes in fruit package, traceability, certification and agribusiness management) carried the citrus sector to its present position as one of the more relevant productive chains in the Uruguayan agriculture and fruit sector.
This activity is carried out on an effective area of 14.324 hectares; with 6.387 million plants, 89% of which are productive plants.
There are two well differentiated production zones in Uruguay in terms of area, specific production and scale. The northern zone is the largest and comprises Salto, Paysandú, Rio Negro and Rivera regions. It occupies 84% of the citrus area and concentrates oranges and mandarins production in large farms. The southern zone is spread in San Jose, Canelones, Montevideo, Colonia, Maldonado, Florida and Soriano regions specializing in lemon production. The majority of the citrus area in the country is occupied by two species: oranges (6.500 hectares) and mandarins (5.800 hectares).
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