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Agriculture in the Chaco Boreal, Paraguay

22.3S 60W

February 5th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Paraguay - January 25th, 2010

Paraguay - January 25th, 2010

The Gran Chaco is a sparsely populated, hot and semi-arid lowland region of the Río de la Plata basin, divided between eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina and a portion of the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, where it is connected with the Pantanal region. This land is sometimes called the Chaco Plain.

Historically the Chaco has been divided in three main parts: the Chaco Austral or Southern Chaco, inside Argentinian territory; the Chaco Central or Central Chaco, also now in Argentinian territory; and the Chaco Boreal or Northern Chaco, inside Paraguayan territory and sharing some area with Bolivia.

This image focuses on the Chaco Boreal in Paraguay. The area in the center appears tan due to agricultural fields, many of which are near mennonite colonies. Inside Paraguay, people sometimes use the expression Central Chaco to refer to this area, located roughly in the middle of the Chaco Boreal, where such mennonite colonies are established.

The Chaco offers high soil fertility and a topography that is favorable for agricultural development, but in combination with aspects that are challenging for farming: a semi-arid to semi-humid climate (600–1300 mm annual rainfall) with a six-month dry season and sufficient fresh groundwater available only in roughly one third of the region, the remainig aquifers been too salty.

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