By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
Argentina Gives Bolivia Technical Assistance to Increase Olive Oil Production in the Region
Representatives of the city of Yacuiba, Bolivia met with authorities from the Secretary of Agriculture of Rioja, Argentina to receive technical advice from Argentinean agricultural experts in order to increase Bolivian olive oil production. The information exchange was led by La Rioja’s Secretary of Agriculture, Jorge Ortiz, and Yacuiba’s head of Economic Development, Hugo Zurita.
The meeting took place at the office of the Secretary of Agriculture and included technical teams from both parties as well as representatives from Yacuiba’s Engineering College, independent olive oil producers and various members of the Yacuiba community. Secretary Ortiz explained that the educational initiative was prompted after a visit to Yacuiba by La Rioja’s Minister of Education, Walter Flores.
Speaking after the informational interchange, Mr. Ortiz explained, “we saw what we were producing and what we were doing in the province [La Rioja] and how we were coming to develop our olive oil industry in different steps so we sought a way to transmit our experiences and our technology. We wanted to create cooperative ties with our sister republic Bolivia because we felt that we had accumulated experience that we could share. Their zones are very similar to ours and can easily produce olive oil.”
In response, Mr. Zurita, Yacuiba’s head of Economic Development, expressed his gratitude: “We would like to thank the Secretary who we have received with open arms after our delegation of 15 people exchanged experiences regarding the cultivation of alternative products like olive oil. We are so grateful for the time they have given us and now, with the presence of our mayor, we hope to sign an agreement and inter-institutional pact from which both countries will benefit.”1
Argentina is currently the largest producer of olive oil in Latin and South America and industry experts predict production to double in the next decade.
 Nueva Rioja, August 12, 2010. “La Rioja asesorará a Yacuiba en el cultivo de la vid y el olivo “