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Uruguay – One of the best places for blueberries

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Why Uruguay to plant blueberries?

Uruguay – One of the best places for bluberries

The Uruguayan tax system is very advantageous for blueberry growers:

The fruit has no export taxes.

The workers total costs are the lowest of the MERCOSUR countries.

In case the Uruguayan government changes the laws or/and taxes, investors have the possibility to export through the various TAX Free Zones of Uruguay. It is possible to invest through a so called Anonymous Society which is an anonymous share holder company.

Being Uruguayan tax system the lowest of the region it turns the country into the most competitive and ideal for this type of investment because if the fruit price goes down to a loss point and force our competitors to get out of market, we will still be gaining a respectable profit. Uruguay seems to be a very good and competitive market player. Uruguay has from good to very good conditions for growing blueberries.

What do blueberries need to grow?

1) Light and acid grounds.

2) If the ground is not the ideal it is possible to be improved with amendments and chemistries.

3) Very good water quality. This is an important project limiting.

4) Little wind conditions. This is a problem to be solved in most of the cases because Uruguay is a windy country.

5) Delayed frosts that affect the fruit. The plant requires cold temperatures below 7 Celsius degrees, according to the planted variety (in our case, 200 to 400 hours).

6) It needs full sun.

7) Fertilization is simple and inexpensive.

The blueberry’s business in numbers.

Investment for one hectare: between 25,000 and 35,000 US dollars. The investment falls if the planted area is greater than 5 ha.

Necessary infrastructure: it depends on the project, but in general about 40,000 to 70.000 US dollars. You need a barn, a house, a tractor and so on.

Cost of maintenance by hectare: 10.000 US dollars annually, all inclusive. The greater the project, the lower the costs. Investment scale seems to be a good idea, but it involves a big capital effort.

2006 season sale prices before taxes: 12 to 19 dollars for one kilo

The minimum economic unit we have studied is about 10 hectares. With 25 hectares or more you become an independent player.

The plants have to be bought one year before plantation, with a down payment of at least 30% as there are no plants in the market. The plants come from Argentina, Chile, the USA and now Uruguay.

The average of production by hectare in Argentina is of 6,000 kilos or more for early varieties.

The average production by hectare for technically well done projects is between 8,000 and 12,000.

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