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AGRICULTURE : <i> Hola, Guacamole</i> : Chileans to Americans: Eat more avocados.

Compiled by Anne Michaud

An association of avocado growers and shippers from Chile has agreed to chip in for an advertising campaign to promote the fruit, according to the Santa Ana-based California Avocado Commission.

Together, avocado growers from both countries plan to pitch the fruit as a year-round delicacy. Chile sends avocados to the United States when the fruit is out of season here.

Members of the Avocado Commission spend $7 million to $8 million a year to keep the fruit on the palates of the American public, commission spokesman Avi Crane said. He added that the Chilean group has not said yet how much money it will contribute.

Chile is increasing its export of avocados to the United States by 50% this year--to 35 million pounds--Crane said. By comparison, U.S. growers produce an average of 400 million pounds a year.

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