Chile: The new Region of Ñuble can generate opportunities for cranberry in the US UU

The Blueberry Committee stated, in its final balance of the season, that the creation of the Ñuble Region may be an opportunity to free some areas from the restrictions imposed by the United States on the importation of blueberries from Chile due to the presence of the plague. Lobesia botrana.

As will be recalled, as of December of 2013, the Aphis (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) established emergency measures for blueberry imports from the regions of O'Higgins, Maule and Bío Bío, after the detection of the cluster moth the vine, which was translated, at first, in the requirement to fumigate the fresh fruit with methyl bromide in origin. After negotiations of a diplomatic and technical nature, the Aphis agreed to allow fumigation at the destination, reducing the tension of the producers and exporters, except the organic ones, which since that date have not been able to enter the North American market with fresh blueberries.

Negotiation with the USA

The Committee underlined that the SAG has continued its negotiations with Aphis / USDA to release some communes from the fumigation requirement and stated that "the creation of the new Ñuble Region can generate opportunities in achieving this objective".

Andrés Armstrong, president of the Committee, explained that "the fumigation requirement considers an administrative region, currently the Bío Bío Region. As the region is going to be divided, administratively there will be a change and that could, eventually, generate a change".

From the SAG, meanwhile, indicated that last January, when they received the delegation of Aphis in Chillán, they were informed that next September the Province of Ñuble will no longer belong to the Bío Bío Region.

On that occasion, the Chilean authorities asked the American delegates that only the properties that are in the control radius of the Lobesia botrana, comply with the fumigation, allowing the rest to be exported only with SAG-USDA inspection. While the professionals of Aphis they undertook to review the technical aspects related to the pest and the legal aspects for the modification of the standard they dictated for the export of blueberries from the Bío Bío Region, to date there is no official response.

Currently in the region there are 104 regulated areas, in which there are 2.221 grape producers, with a surface area of ​​4.591.2 hectares, representing an 32,7% of the regional total; and 330 blueberry producers, with an area of ​​2.858 hectares, corresponding to 55,2% of the regional area.

Source: The Discussion 

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