Sheep harvest 2023 was inaugurated in Tacuarembó

With the participation of the President of the Republic, Luis Lacalle Pou, the inauguration of the 2023 sheep harvest took place on Thursday, August 10, at the headquarters of the Tacuarembó Rural Association.

The event was attended by various national authorities, the mayor of Tacuarembó, Wilson Ezquerra, and leaders of private entities linked to the agricultural sector, including the president of the Instituto Nacional del Cooperativismo (Inacoop), Martín Fernández; the president of the Asociación Rural de Tacuarembó, Ruben Roura; and the president of the Secretariado Uruguayo de la Lana (SUL), Alfredo Fros.

Promoting the production of fine wool for the world

The Minister of Livestock, Fernando Mattos, emphasized the importance of fine wool production to revitalize international demand. In his speech, he highlighted the historical value of sheep production in Uruguay, recalling that for years it was a fundamental part of the country's economy. In this sense, he mentioned that the industry has exported more than 25 million animals, which has positioned Uruguay as a world reference in technical and productive terms.

Mattos acknowledged the current challenges, such as the economic slowdown in China and the excess of coarse wool in the country and the region.

The minister emphasized the need to refine the quality of the uruguayan wool to adapt to current demand, which is highly fluctuating. In addition, he announced that the government is in negotiations with different nations to place the 40 million kilos of wool already produced, a figure that represents a significant investment by producers.

Advances in the fight against the "crab fly".

The "crab fly" eradication program (Cochliomyia hominivorax) was highlighted as a key effort by Minister Mattos. This program, which will require an annual investment of around US$8 million, aims to eliminate a pest that has affected sheep. In addition, a cooperation agreement was announced with the Panama - United States Commission for the Eradication and Prevention of the Cattle Screwworm (COPEG), a collaboration that seeks to strengthen the relationship and improve control strategies.

Mattos expressed his confidence that by 2024 the partial eradication of the filth fly will be achieved and called for the commitment of producers to maintain rigorous control mechanisms and prevent the transit of parasitized animals.

New market opportunities for sheep meat

The minister also shared plans to promote sheep meat in the domestic market and in foreign markets of interest, such as Arab countries. The recent visit of a Saudi official highlighted the prestige of Uruguayan sheep meat in that country. It was also mentioned that in Brazil, specifically in São Paulo, Uruguayan sheep meat has gained recognition and is a developing market.

President Lacalle Pou is scheduled to make an official visit to China in November, where the wool issue is expected to be discussed, which could provide new opportunities for the Uruguayan sheep industry in the global market.

The inauguration of the 2023 sheep harvest not only marked the beginning of a new production season, but also reaffirmed the commitment of the government and producers to face current challenges and explore new opportunities in the competitive international scenario.

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