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Colombian Farming: The Costs Of Replacing Coffee With Avocados

The Hass avocado, fast becoming one of Colombia's big export earners, is  threatening local ecosystems and causing water shortages.

Hass Avocados for sale at a farmer's market
Hass Avocados for sale at a farmer's market
María Mónica Monsalve

BOGOTÁ — One of Colombia's star export products, the Hass avocado, has cracked open two major environmental issues: the destruction of traditional landscapes and recurring water shortages.

The country has been promoting the Hass avocado since 2016, and proudly publicized in early June the arrival of its first 1.6 tons of Hass in South Korea, Asia's fifth biggest importer of avocados. But on May 29, the Senate's Fifth Commission, which considers land and environmental issues, questioned Agriculture Minister Rodolfo Enrique Zea about the effects of Hass farming in the Quindío department.

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May 21-22

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