Chilean growers meet with new Agricultural Minister
The Chilean fruit growers association Fedefruta, the exporters’ association Asoex and other farming groups from Chile had their first sit down meeting with the new Agricultural Minister and Vice Minister to discuss the wide ranges of issues facing the sector.
In a statement from Fedefruta, the association said that growers discussed water use issues and plans to confront drought affecting many of Chile’s fruit growing regions. Sustainability initiatives were also a talking point in the meeting with Esteban Valenzuela, the recently appointed Minister of Agriculture under Chilean President Gabriel Boric. Logistical bottlenecks facing the fruit industry, and temporary visas for foreign workers were also discussed.
The Fedefruta statement said that its President Jorge Valenzuela highlighted the need to distinguish between drought and a water crisis. The later being a result of lacking or poorly implemented public policy. Fedefruta is pushing for plans to create regional water matrices, starting with mid-sized dams.
“There are many alternatives that we have not explored, and the conversation has never centered on new water sources, like desalinization, recovering waste waters, aquifer recovery, all as long as proper studies are done”, Valenzuela said.
Along with new laws is the need to follow technical systems up with growers through training, he added. He also called for more growers to work on regenerative production techniques, regardless of their size.
Led by Asoex, the industry representatives also discussed port conditions and logistical bottlenecks, as well as high shipping costs and delays that are affecting the industry.