Uruguay: 2012 U.S. entry could solve citrus problems
Uruguay's citrus industry has expressed concerns for the lack of market options for its produce, while Agriculture Minister Tabaré Aguerre believes U.S. entry in 2012 could be the solution, website Elpais.com.uy reported.
Aguerre met with small and medium-sized growers in the city of Salto to discuss the citrus industry's competitiveness with other countries such as South Africa and Peru.
The story reported negotiations for U.S. market entry have been ongoing for 20 years and phytosanitary clearance has still not been given.
Northern Citrus Producers spokesperson Carlos Orihuela said fruit was produced but not traded successfully, while difficulties were leading to increased unemployment, the story reported.
Orihuela said if the citrus industry continued to go badly the situation could be worse for the 10,000 people who directly depend on it to subsist.
"It's been going badly for 30 years, and that's why as employers and workers we've joined together to fight shoulder to shoulder, because we understand there is no magic bullet, and we see a ministry that is well-informed and with a desire to do good things; so we commence today to find solutions," Orihuela was quoted as saying.
Aguerre did not rule out a subsidy for growers, while pointing out work still needed to be done to improve productivity per hectare, which is still well behind that of South Africa, the story reported.
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Photo: El Pais