AgroAlianza is a conglomerate of companies that combines resources and expertise to promote the production of Paraguayan rice, one of the country’s most important exports.
Leading Edge (LE): How is the rice sector developing in Paraguay?
Mario Bergallo (MB): There’s no question that Paraguay has recently experienced very rapid growth, and rice production is one of the areas where the economy’s growth has been most noticeable. The country’s topography is ideal for cultivation, the climate is favourable, and the abundance of water, moderate production costs, new and clean terrain, and unexpected and beneficial low levels of arsenic are the perfect combination for ensuring that development is productive, which is very exciting. We believe that the country still has a growth potential of 400,000 hectares, and we think this is just the start of a new stage.
LE: Paraguay’s main export markets are Chile, Brazil and Uruguay. What are your markets of the future?
MB: At the moment, we primarily export to Brazil, Chile and Colombia. Other markets that we’re ready to enter, with very good prospects, are Mexico and Iran.
“Rice production is one of the areas where the economy’s growth has been most noticeable.”
LE: Can you tell us about the growth of AgroAlianza?
MB: A family business, Admirable, led by my good friend Don JosО Maria Heisecke, kick-started the entire structure that is now a conglomerate of companies. This dream, which is now a reality, began with the very strong and committed integration of agriculture and livestock production on the Misiones fields. There, the first agricultural project, Eladia, was developed, establishing a solid and strong foundation. But we needed a company that in addition to producing rice had the capacity to process and market it. We looked for safe investment opportunities and arrived at the ДeembucЬ fields, where we created Villa Oliva Rice, an unprecedented undertaking in the area. AgroAlianza is a group of companies that share the same ideal: Eladia, Admirable and Grupo Diagro. With access to cutting-edge technology, it has a static capacity of 77,000 tonnes and produces 21,000 tonnes of rice per hour, which makes it the most modern industry in South America today. The noblest aspect of AgroAlianza is its goal of integrating all producers in the Misiones area, offering guidance on production and providing rice drying and storage services.
LE: How does Villa Oliva Rice use technology?
MB: One of the goals of Villa Oliva Rice is excellence in production quality. We are convinced that technology, implemented in a specialised, methodical and measured manner, is our best tool to achieve this goal. We are developing new and better technologies to stay at the forefront.
“The current government is promoting the Paraguay brand as never before: positioning us as world-class producers and creating unprecedented growth conditions.”
LE: How should the government support the expansion of rice exports?
MB: In my opinion, the government’s role is to create the right conditions for production and development. For example, by ensuring legal certainty, efficient logistics, access to credit, and incentives for technology importation and excellence in production. It should create institutes devoted to researching seed varieties adapted to our environment and training professional rice production technicians — which is a growing need. I want to highlight how the current government is promoting the Paraguay brand as never before: positioning us as world-class producers and creating unprecedented growth conditions.