Chile: mechanization key for walnut growth

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Chile: mechanization key for walnut growth

A Chilean Walnut Commission (ChWC) report has shown sustained volume growth for the country's industry as it moves towards doubling production in the next five years.

The commission says the growth now warrants greater levels of mechanization in the industry, which according to Valbifrut commercial manager Edmundo Valderrama is necessary to offset the effects of rising costs.

"Basically, automation is the only way to absorb and process the increases in production which will come in the following years in Chile. It's impossible to think of producing the addition without investment in technology and automated processes," he says.

Huertos del Valle general manager Julio Martínez, says Chile is now introducing harvesting technology that has been used in Italy, France and the U.S.

"What we have studied from different industries at the world level and our own projects is leading us to mechanization. Also, in parallel we are doing research with our customers in Europe, as the change from here to 2013 will not happen overnight," he says.

ChWC chief executive Andrés Rodríguez says the technological change will bring about better profitability for the industry, increase productivity and improve quality.

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