The province of Neuquén in western Argentina is looking to boost its exports of airfreighted cherries and soft fruit. The government has announced plans to convert two disused military hangars at Juan Domingo Perón international airport and acquiring two scissor lifts in order to increase the speed and efficiency of shipments.
“We’re aiming to start exporting in November or December – at least that’s when we will take delivery of the scissor lifts,” said José Brillo, the regional minister for production and tourism, following a meeting with national transport minister Guillermo Dietrich.
Producers anticipate an export volume of around 2,500 tonnes in the first year.
Brillo said the hangars, built during Argentina’s war with Chile in the 1970s, will be transformed into a cargo terminal capable of handling not just fruit, but also other products such as fresh fish.
Neuquén is best known for its apple and pear production but Dietrich pointed out that there is plenty of potential to develop the region’s cherry production and exports, which, up to now have been hampered by a lack of available air transport infrastructure.