Bolivia to ramp up grape industry
The Bolivian grape industry aims to increase its hectarage significantly in the coming years, and in support the government has now implemented protective measures during the main growing season.
Website Elpaisonline.com reported local industry called on the government to ban the entry of grapes from Chile, Argentina or Peru, and received a prompt affirmative response from the government of Evo Morales in La Paz.
Grape imports have officially been suspended since Jan. 20 with the measures set to last until April 20.
The sector estimates the entry of foreign grapes to Bolivia has led to losses of around US$2.9 million per year for the country's growers.
Bolivia's Grape, Wine and Singani (brandy) Chain manager José Luis Sánchez told the local press there was a goal to reach 20,000 hectares of grapes in production.
Website Jornadanet.com reported he said current production in Tarija stood at 3,200 hectares with around 4,500 small growers, while nationally there were around 7,000 hectares of the fruit and 11,000 families dedicated to the activity.