Chile to export first truffles in 2013
September 22 , 2011

Chilean truffle growers have increased production this year with expectations to export in 2013, according to the Agricultural Innovation Foundation (FIA).

The industry still only accounts for 150 hectares but is leading the way in South American truffle cultivation, with output rising 45.8% this year to 3.5kg (7.7lbs).

The cultivation area covers five farms in the Maule, Araucanía, Los Ríos and Metropolitana regions, thanks to the government-backed initiative ‘Technological Development and Validation of the Truffle Industry in Chile, as a New Edible Fungus Agroindustry for Export Markets’.

The FIA highlights the very high values that the ‘black diamonds of gastronomy’ fetch in international markets, with an average of US$1,200 per kilogram this year.

The first truffles were introduced to Chile in 2002 and are now grown by local company Agrobiofruit, which has a standardized method for evaluating and selecting optimal sites for development. It is expected it will plant 60 hectares every year in a bid to take advantage of Chile’s counterseason with France, the U.S. and Japan.

The FIA forecasts annual production between 800-1000kg (1,760-2,200lbs) by 2015,  focusing on the ‘Perigord’ black truffle that takes between five and seven years to mature and grow.

Photo: FIA