Globally, the demand for confectionary sunflower is increasing and future prospects indicate that this growth will continue steadily. This is evident both from the point of view of the business and the agricultural sector, as well as from the final consumer, who in recent years has sought to prioritize a healthy diet and has adopted this healthy and versatile food.
The cultivation of confectionery sunflower, produced as a specialty in Argentina, is framed within the so-called regional economies. On the one hand, it allows expanding crop rotation and diversifying the risks inherent to the activity. Likewise, the fact that it behaves comparatively better than other crops in years with little rainfall, makes it an increasingly attractive alternative for producers from the West of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, San Luis, Córdoba, and the NOA, at the same time that the planting surface in Entre Ríos is incipiently recovering. On the other hand, its excellent performance against the drop in yield caused by the consumption of grain by birds prior to harvest, allows its cultivation in areas considered endemic. For these reasons, it can be said that the confectionery sunflower is a noble crop.
Then, we are right when we say that the sunflower seed is a noble product. Now, in terms of profitability, it is interesting to note that working with agricultural specialties such as confectionery sunflowers enables the development of different business models and opens up a range of alternatives to generate different income options. In this sense, It is not surprising that for the agricultural producer it is a strategic choice and represents a good business since the confectionery sunflower is positioned at the same levels of yield as the oil producers and even more so, added to the fact that it has an excellent price per grain available. and future.
Since the 2018 – 2019 campaign, the planted hectares have increased, as well as the yields of this specialty, listed on several international markets. This growth is consolidated in the increase in the volume exported, in continuous growth since 2018, exceeding 40,000 tons in 2020.
Likewise, in the last two campaigns, an increase in its value was evidenced, both due to the rise in commodity prices that pushes specialties, as well as due to the national context that has caused the price of oil sunflower to rise significantly.
Now, with the confectionery sunflower we enter the world of food and not the world of commodities. It is about sowing and harvesting a food that is obtained in the field and that arrives directly at the table of the families; significantly different from the commodity.
But, what is happening on the other side of the gate? The consumption of healthy foods is a trend that is consolidating worldwide. Countries such as Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Turkey and Ecuador are large consumers of this seed and main importers of Argentine confectionery sunflower. Thus, seeds in general and the confectionery sunflower seed in particular, are part of the set of foods that make up a varied and healthy diet at a global level.
Thus, the preferences and possibilities of consumption are varied: as a snack, as an ingredient in meals, as part of a natural “picada” or permitted candy, simply because it is a healthy food, with many nutritional contributions.
In short, the prospects for the future are enormous and our country is in a privileged position that we must preserve. The positioning of Argentina is achieved through investment in development and continuous seed improvement programs.
It requires dedication and effort, as well as investment in state-of-the-art technology and adequate infrastructure to obtain the best possible quality. This is the right way to compete with other countries in the world and live up to consumer demands.
The author is general manager of Argensun