The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of up to $30 million to improve the competitiveness of fruit and vegetable production, mining and tourism in the Rio Negro province of Argentina.
Fruit and vegetable production in the upper and middle Rio Negro valleys are one of the most important sources of income for the province, which is located in Patagonia in southern Argentina. Of the $400 million a year it generates for the province, 90 percent comes from the fruit and 10 percent juice and products.
Tourist activity is concentrated in Bariloche, the second biggest international destination in Argentina. The province also offers beach tourism, based in Las Grutas, on the Atlantic coast.
Rio Negro, however, has encountered several obstacles in terms of infrastructure to prevent adequately meet the needs of its main economic activities.
The IDB loan will help improve the infrastructure of San Antonio’s port, the main point of departure of Rio Negro’s fruit exports. Public works financed by the Bank will deepen the access channel and modernize other port facilities to enhance competitiveness.
The project will also support the development of an environmental management plan for San Antonio Bay, a protected area.
The IDB will also support Rio Negro’s plans to expand services offered to visitors through the modernization of urban infrastructure, improved roads and an increase in the supply of hospital services in an area where tourism is the main attraction.
The loan is for 25 years with a grace period of four years.
- Romina Tan Nicaretta