Argentina's small citrus farmers gain state aid for new varieties

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Argentina's small citrus farmers gain state aid for new varieties

Small citrus farmers in Argentina's Entre Ríos province are to receive ARS6 million (US$1.4 million) from the Federal Government to help diversify into different varieties, website reported.

The funds are to help diversify production, harvest times and markets. The money will assist more than 1,400 small farmers in the departments of Federación, Concordia, Federal and Colón improve product quality and increase their income.

Carla Campos Bilbao from the Ministry for Rural Development and Family Farming, said funds would be channelled through regional economic development programs and work closely with local councils.

"We will work in a coordinated way with municipal authorities to prioritize local production chains and to define actions that promote the added value of regional products,"  she told the website.

The funds are part of an overall ARS20 million (US$4.7 million) program for farmers in Entre Ríos to finance projects to boost the region's horticultural industry. Other projects include construction of a ARS7.8 million (US$1.85 million) juicing plant in the town of Villa del Rosario, which will benefit more than 400 family farmers.

About ARS2 million (US$475,000) will go to the development of horticultural belts around local towns to systemize greenhouse irrigation and heating as well as buying seed, fertilizers, herbicides, machinery and offering training and technical assistance to local groups.

The region's 300 beekeepers will gain ARS1 million (US$237,000) for improving the condition of extraction rooms to increase the sector's profitability, while young entrepreuners will receive ARS3 million (US$713,861) for innovative enterpries in rural and agricultural production.

Photo: Atcitrus

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