`An Olive Tree for Every Home in La Rioja, Argentina - Olive Oil Times

An Olive Tree for Every Home in La Rioja, Argentina

Jan. 9, 2013
Naomi Tupper

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The provin­cial gov­ern­ment of La Rioja in Argentina have imple­mented a pro­gram this week which will pro­vide each fam­ily in the region with their own olive tree plant.

It is hoped that the pro­gram will pro­vide res­i­dents with olives for home con­sump­tion and give them the oppor­tu­nity to pro­duce olive oil in the future, all part of an over­all plan to increase domes­tic con­sump­tion of the prod­uct. The pro­gram has been greeted with enthu­si­asm, par­tic­u­larly in house­holds where such a plant may open up a new source of income, in addi­tion to food sup­ply.

The first plants were deliv­ered in the town of Anguinán last week and to Malligasta, Sañogasta and Nonogasta at the start of this week, with a total of around 4,000 plants of the Coratina vari­ety to be deliv­ered in total at no cost to the ben­e­fi­cia­ries. This par­tic­u­lar vari­ety of olive is par­tic­u­larly suit­able for the pro­gram as it can be cul­ti­vated for con­sump­tion as well as used for oil pro­duc­tion.

Plant Health Director for the area, Mr. Roberto Turra stressed the impor­tance of the pro­gram, known as Un olivo en casa or An olive tree in the home,” stat­ing that it would be impor­tant for small pro­duc­ers, but also for tra­di­tional fam­i­lies, and was designed not only for afforesta­tion but to encour­age olive cul­ti­va­tion and con­sump­tion.

The region of La Rioja has an ongo­ing inten­sive pro­gram involv­ing the intro­duc­tion and deliv­ery of var­i­ous dif­fer­ent pro­duc­tion plants, as well as provin­cial pro­grams hoped to gen­er­ate profit from small and medium level pro­duc­tion. It is hoped that pro­grams such as the olive tree in the home will help increase qual­ity and quan­tity of pro­duc­tion in the region and become an impor­tant eco­nomic chan­nel.

Argentina has a rich his­tory of olive oil pro­duc­tion, and declared olive oil as a national food in 2012. However, although the coun­try is a key pro­ducer of olives and their oils, with an export indus­try val­ued at over $30 mil­lion US in 2011, domes­tic con­sump­tion is weak. The aver­age Argentine con­sumes only about 125 grams per year, a fig­ure many would like to see improved with cam­paigns designed to increase con­sump­tion and improve the inter­nal mar­ket of the prod­uct.

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