Deutscher Tropentag, October 11 - 13, 2005 in Stuttgart-Hohenheim
"The Global Food & Product Chain- Dynamics, Innovations, Conflicts, Strategies"
Citrus Inventory (2004) in Bella Vista, Corrientes – Argentina
Alba Ruth Perucca1, Ditmar Bernardo Kurtz2,1, Hector Daniel Ligier1, Humberto Ramon Matteio1, Osvaldo Vallejos1
1National Institute for Agricultural Technology, Natural Resources, Argentina
2University of Bonn, Agricultural Science & Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
The domestic market is the primary target for citrus in Bella Vista - Corrientes - Argentina. Since 2001 economic changes took place and the export of fresh fruit began to the European market. A comprehemsive inventory was developed at the request of the Citrus Growers Association in order to determine future investment strategies. In a first step, we assessed the citrus growing area regarding the geographical location of the plots, prevailing agronomic practices (species, varieties, agro-chemical use, age of plantations), and farmers' access to extension services. An initial inventory was based on Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellite images. Before the visual interpretation, the images were rectified and processed using ERDAS Imagine. ArcView software was used to develop the GIS and ground-truthing of the GIS information was complemented by questionnaires.
The results show that 23% of the citrus plots are abandoned. Only some 380 plots are actively exploited, corresponding to a production surface of 3,021 ha. The average age of these plots is 11 years, indicating that the maximum production potential has not yet been reached. The largest share of 49% of the area is occupied by lemon, followed by oranges (32%) and tangerines (19%). In the case of lemon, one single variety (“Villa Franca”) is used on 46% of the total lemon-growing area, while Valencia represented 84% of the oranges. This high concentration on few varieties carries danger signals, as reliance on few genotypes is potentially associated with economic risks and a loss in agro-biodiversity. Despite their recognised importance, only 40% of the citrus area is currently treated with agro-chemicals and extension reaches less than 30% of all citrus growers. This inventory highlights that current citrus production levels in Bella Vista appear to be less associated with spatial features but rather with a lack of information by farmers and possibly an over-reliance on few genotypes. Further sociology studies are needed to explain the poor use and access of extension services.
Keywords: Agro-chemicals, extension, GIS, satellite images
Contact Address: Ditmar Bernardo Kurtz, University of Bonn, Agricultural Science & Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, Nussalee 1, 53115 Bonn, Germany, e-mail: dkurtzuni-bonn.de