Colombia works to declare several avocado farms pest-free
Colombian authorities say they have created a work plan focused on declaring avocado-growing properties in a major production region as pest-free.
The announcement comes days after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed updating its regulations to allow Hass imports from the South American country.
In a release, the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) said it was working to rid eight areas in the Tolima region of quarantined pests to facilitate access to the U.S. market.
The eight properties have more than 7,000 trees and a total production of around 370 metric tons (MT). There are 37 avocado-producing properties in Tolima at present.
The ICA said it was monitoring a large number of farms in the region in order for the country's exporters to be able to access as many international markets as possible.
Total Colombian avocado production is around 350,000 metric tons (MT) annually, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, grown over an area of 50,000 hectares. The vast majority of production is focused in the departments of Tolima and Antioquia.