Chile: ASOEX seeks 'national disaster' declaration over frosts

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Chile: ASOEX seeks 'national disaster' declaration over frosts

The Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) has called on the government to declare a national state of disaster in the wake of frosts that have caused serious damages to crops including stonefruit, kiwifruit, blueberries, grapes, almonds and walnuts. nectarines_53113189 small

Click here to read more on Chile's frost damage situation.

ASOEX called for the measures Thursday during a meeting with Agriculture Minister Luis Mayol, which would allow the industry to draw on emergency funds.

Initial estimates from the association stand at 50 million boxes in fruit losses, with a freight on board (FOB) value of US$650 million. Collateral damage is also expected in the form of job losses, lower transport activity and the operational reorganization of fruit packhouses, as well as the potential loss of markets and customers.

"[These factors] generate a situation that sets up the biggest crisis that has affected the Chilean fruit industry," ASOEX president Ronald Bown said in a release.

"Also, this will lead to a suspension of varied activities of related support, such as foreign promotion, market development, research programs and technology transfer, among others, forming a global effect in the sector above US$1.2 billion."

Bown added this situation justified the use of all tools possible to find the earliest solution with all the regular and extraordinary resources available under the Chilean legal system.

"Similarly, in regard to the National Budget that will be discussed soon, we hope that both the Ministry of Finance and the National Congress consider the appropriate adjustments, in order to have the necessary resources to face this catastrophe both on a global level and in the regions.

"ASOEX will also present a set of specific proposals that, coordinated by the public sector with the help of growers, exporters and fruit works, will be able to be implemented to overcome the national crisis this situation has created."

At the time of writing, the Chilean government had already declared an agricultural emergency in the country's VI (O'Higgins) region.




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