There’s good news for Argentina’s olive oil industry.

Industry analysts have announced that olive oil is now the country’s fastest-growing agricultural commodity and expect production to double in size by 2020, according to the Agri-Food and Agribusiness Strategic Plan of Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

Rapid growth and improved technology in recent years has positioned Argentina among the world’s top producers of olive oil and table olives. Exports generated over US$30 million in the first trimestre of 2011 alone. The industry grew by 146.1 percent between 2000 and 2010, a year in which sales abroad reached 85,324 tons valued at US$43.1 million.

Growth is expected to continue over the next decade, as olive growing surface expands to 110,720 hectares and annual production surpasses 100,000 tons, firmly establishing Argentina among the top olive oil producers in the world.

“The country has the potential to become one of the major players in the world’s olive oil industry,” said Cesar Angel Matias, a specialist at the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) of Catamarca.

The enthusiasm for Argentinian oil will culminate at the upcoming INTA Expone NOA olive oil expo in the Salta province April 20-22. The event will feature different presentations designed to teach consumers about the olive oil production process, from seed to the table. Tasting and technical information will also be provided.

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