Chile: grape pioneer passes away -

Chile: grape pioneer passes away

Chilean fruit industry pioneer Alfonso Prohens Arias, known for his work in the country's northern Copiapo Valley, has died.

The news was confirmed by the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX).uvas_72395350 _ small

During his long career, Prohens worked out how to overcome the complex agricultural challenges in Chile's dry northern regions and greatly advanced the development of the area's vineyards and orchards.

His work in the region is said to have significantly helped to improve the livelihoods of its residents.

Prohens' legacy will remain for many years to come, supported by his children who have managed to consolidate their father's enormous contribution.

ASOEX said it extended its condolences to his family and all those who were able to share and enjoy the great contribution he made during his long and prolific career.

Chile's National Agricultural Society (SNA) president Patricio Crespo said Prohens was a prominent figure in the country's history and would be missed.

"Alfonso was a creator of opportunities, and with tenacity and perseverance, he managed to develop agriculture in an inhospitable desert area of the country into a functioning business region," Crespo said.

Crespo added that along with invigorating winemaking in the Copiapo Valley, Prohens was the first in the industry to open up exports to the U.S., at a time when finding other foreign markets looked almost impossible.

"This is the spirit that has made our agriculture a vibrant one and open to the word. Alfonso Prohens' commitment should inspire us all to continue working for the development of the country's agriculture," he said.