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Re: In South America, where pomegranate trees are not native plants, the [#permalink]
IMO choice C is correcr.
The answer should explain the decrease in production occur after 5 years of increase.
A tells us the fall of price and demand,

B tells us the reason why non-natice trees are productive, not relevant, out.

C explain the reason of the sharp decrease after 5 years is due to the scarce of nutrients. Correct.

D support the fact that the productity had risen steadily for the 5 years. Not relevant, out.

E introduce new info in the time before the beetle was introduce, out of scope.

Correct answer should be C.

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Re: In South America, where pomegranate trees are not native plants, the [#permalink]
hdavies wrote:
I was stuck between C and A, but I chose A.

The sharp decrease in productivity could have been triggered by the sharp decrease in price due to the rise in production cost and the low demand. Maybe introducing the snout beetles is expensive? The low demand could have triggered the farmers to slow their production rate to offset overproducing. They could have planned the strategy.

My issue with C was the wording around rapid increases. I wasn't sure if a 40% production lift within 5 years can be considered a rapid increase.

Hello, hdavies,
In this passage, there is nothing mentioned about the production cost and supply-demand gap. The only factor mentioned is about the effectiveness of the pollinators.
I can say that the option A is out of scope. The option C is relating the decrease in productivity with the source of pomegranate i.e. the flowers.

So, as per my thought process, C is the best answer.
Hope it helps.
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Re: In South America, where pomegranate trees are not native plants, the [#permalink]
When a variety of snout beetle known to be effective pollinators were introduced into South America five years ago, pomegranate fruit productivity increased by nearly 40 percent, but then decreased sharply last year.

(C) Rapid increases in productivity tend to deprive trees of nutrients needed for the development of the fruit-producing flowers.

In past five year, the pomegranate productivity increase by 40% but rapidly decreased in successive years. C is right reason to explain this fall of productivity as all nutrients were sucked by beetles in past five year.
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Re: In South America, where pomegranate trees are not native plants, the [#permalink]
The words "would best explain" indicate that this is an Explain question. Expect there to be a paradox or apparent contradiction involving last year's decrease in production. The answer will explain how both parts of the apparent contradiction can be true.

Untangle the stimulus in an Explain question by paraphrasing the two parts of the apparent contradiction. Here, pomegranate production, which had been unnaturally low due to manual pollination, increased greatly when the beetle was introduced five years ago. But then it decreased sharply last year.

It's difficult to predict an exact answer for most Explain questions. Just keep in mind that the correct answer will explain why pomegranate production suddenly decreased sharply last year despite the presence of the helpful beetle.

(C) explains why production suddenly dropped and is therefore correct. The introduction of the beetle caused rapid increase in production over the past five years, which ended up depriving the trees of nutrients needed for the development of fruit-producing flowers. The result is that the trees can't keep up their fruit production anymore.

(A) just describes how production affected prices, but it doesn't explain why production suddenly dropped.

(B) makes an irrelevant comparison between non-native trees and native trees. The stimulus is only concerned with one tree and its sudden drop in production.

(D) actually deepens the mystery. Had the snout beetle population dropped, it might have been understandable that pomegranate production would drop. But the snout beetle population has remained constant!

(E) pertains to an irrelevant time period - more than five years ago. This has no bearing on why production suddenly dropped in the last year.
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Re: In South America, where pomegranate trees are not native plants, the [#permalink]
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