Chile organics sector dipped in 2010
The area in Chile dedicated to organic crops fell by 11% to 151,097 ha in 2009/10. Some 9% was devoted to grapevines, fruit and vegetable production, while 90% was pasture. Those are the first published results of the “organic territory programme” that was launched four years ago to aid the sector, including the participation of the Ministry of Agriculture, biological product suppliers, organic crop associations and two universities. The co-ordinator of the programme, Felipe Torti, says the major advance has been “narrowing the technology gap” for producing lower cost organic produce. Organic grapevines saw the largest growth, rising some 31% to 900 ha, while the major organic “small” fruit sectors were raspberries, accounting for almost 3,500 ha, and blueberries (1,522 ha). The area for “large” fruit inched higher, with the most significant being apples, covering 1,268 ha, olives (1,235 ha), avocados (841 ha), and kiwis (442 ha). The organic vegetable area totalled 180 ha.