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India could surpass Argentina's garlic production

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2018-04-24  Views: 47
Core Tip: Argentina has the right seasonal conditions to produce garlic, from the north of our country to the south in the zone of Neuquen and Rio Negro.
   The manager of the Association of Producers, Packers and Exporters of Garlic, Onions, and Related Products of Mendoza (Asocamen), Guillermo San Martin stated: “Argentina has the right seasonal conditions to produce garlic, from the north of our country to the south in the zone of Neuquen and Rio Negro. The best conditions are in the Cuyo region of San Juan and Mendoza, because garlic is a vegetable that needs strong, marked winters and a certain amount of cold hours. It is a crop that doesn't naturally occur in tropical or temperate areas.”
 
  He also stated that there were 1500 garlic producers in Mendoza, 75 percent of which were small and medium producers with less than 15 hectares each. It is a very heterogeneous market, but at the same time it is very competitive.
 
  According to Guillermo San Martín, the strength of Mendoza and San Juan is that producers know how to produce quality garlic, thanks to the work of INTA. “We have the best technicians, agronomists and researchers in the southern hemisphere, we must value them.”
 
  However, he added, “the legal-labor and tax frameworks do not help this type of production that is capital and labor-intensive. You need a lot of money to have a hectare of garlic, much more than for one hectare of soy.”
 
  Although Argentinian garlic stands out in the world, producing it is not an undertaking that anyone can carry out because of the costs, which are around 200 thousand pesos per hectare, i.e. 8 thousand to 10 thousand dollars.
 
  Garlic varieties
 
  The garlic varieties depend on the country where they originated. Normally, garlic comes from the Caucasus region, but it is divided into two large groups, the Asian and the European groups, Argentina produces both. The Asian varieties have a short cycle, which costs less money, they are more rustic, and have good production levels. Meanwhile, the European varieties are more noble, have a long cycle, are more sensitive, have more flavor, and more storage capacity.
 
  There are five varieties in total, as the Asian varieties include white and red garlic, and the European brown garlic can also be added to these two. Mendoza is famous for producing high quality white and red European garlic varieties.  Due to the economic situation, the European red variety has been replaced by the Asian purple garlic.
 
  Garlic is a superfood, it has health properties that increase as it becomes more turgid, i.e. as its color darkens. The manager of ASOCAMEN said, “that's why some countries, generally the Mediterranean and Nordic ones, demand the strong garlic. In the Brazilian market, the garlic is better known than the wine from Mendoza. At a global level, Argentina produces a differentiated garlic, such as the European varieties, like no other country does. It has exotic varieties to produce that we should exploit more.”
 
  Argentina ranks third
 
  Garlic is an export product with a cycle that runs from October to September, and a value that varies as determined by the international market. “This year, producers are selling at cost to maintain the market,” he said.
 
  The leading producer and exporter of garlic in the world is China with 300 thousand hectares of garlic. Argentina is the third biggest exporter of garlic, after Spain. “We'll most probably be surpassed by India soon and, in a couple of years, Argentina will be the fourth biggest exporter,” Guillermo San Martin predicted.
 
  The main export market for Argentine garlic is Brazil, because it is its partner in Mercosur, and because they consume 2 and a half kilos of garlic per year while the Argentines consume an average of 250 grams per year. Argentina only exports white European garlic to the European market, but, since it can't be sold for less than 20 dollars, it is an expensive operation, which reduces its competitiveness.
 
keywords: garlic
 
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