Pear production in Chile : situation and trends
The original publication is available at http://www.actahort.org/books/671/671_61.htm
Pear production is concentrated in the central zone of the country (32º-36°33’ S), under temperate climatic conditions. Pear is the fifth largest fruit crop in the Chilean export basket, representing 5% of the planted area of fruit trees (approximately 10 000 ha), 200 000 t of total production in 2003 and a 60% packout for the export market, valued at US $65 207 000. Chile’s pear exports comprise 7% of the world’s pear exports and 22% of the Southern Hemisphere’s exports (average for the years 2001-2002). Fruit is exported mostly to Europe, USA and Latin America. However, because of lower crop profitability, the planted area and total yield have been decreasing since 1991 to an estimated 7 700 ha for the 2003/2004 season, of which 94% are European pear and 95% are mature, bearing orchards. The main cultivar has been ‘Packham’s Triumph’, which represented 55% of the total Chilean pears exported in 2003, followed by ‘Beurre Bosc’ (11%) and other minor cultivars such as ‘Coscia’, ‘Abate Fetel’, ‘D’Anjou’ and ‘Bartlett’. The main problems facing commercial pear production in Chile are low orchard productivity, poor precocity and some quality problems that are being detected in the export market. The aim of this study was to analyse the pear production in Chile, in terms of evolution of the planted area, cultivars and technical management aspects.