STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION IN PARAGUAY
Paraguay is one of the less known countries within MERCOSUR. In this country strawberries have been cultivated since 1920. The evolution of the strawberry cultivated area indicates an increasing interest in this crop. It would be an interesting alternative for new crops to increase the export supply and generate profits for small producers. Although the cultivated area has grown around 30% between 2001 and 2006, production increased only around 9% in that period. Regarding size, most of the plots were small, around ¼ to ½ ha. Currently, the total cultivated area covers around 375 ha and the production is 3,380 ton. The productivity is 9 ton/ha, the lowest in the MERCOSUR area. Technical aspects are in most cases obsolete: no soil treatment before cultivating and bad irrigation practices or no irrigation at all. Marketing and sales practices are very informal. The traditional canasteras - women carrying a big strawberry basket on their head - who are door-to-door salespersons, is the most common practice in selling strawberries. Frost technology is unknown among producers. In addition, there is no specific government policy for this subsector, there is only one project between the JICA and the Agriculture Ministry for small strawberry producers and also for another two horticultural varieties. This project took place from 1997 to 2002. Nowadays, strawberry production would be an interesting subsector for the government policies in order to develop new products for new export strategies. Traditional production practices vs. technologically advanced practices will decide the future for strawberry production in Paraguay.
Nacimiento, Z. (2009). STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION IN PARAGUAY. Acta Hortic. 842, 635-638
strawberry production, Paraguay, MERCOSUR