Chile: 10% of blueberries are organic

A key issue in the future of food supply will be the use of scarce land and water resources. Advances in science and technology have made this possible in the past and there are many reasons to expect it to remain so in the future. However, the environmental impact that natural and human systems can tolerate has its limits if agricultural science does not take these factors into account.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, an increasing world population means that per capita arable land is steadily declining.

In the last 20 years there has been a gradual evolution from mainly technological approaches of food production to others that take into account the underlying ecological, social and economic factors. One of the central elements in strategies to reduce environmental impact is a better balance between trust in technology, and approaches in which information and management are more centrally placed.

Many developing countries currently have special food markets for consumers who wish to buy items grown with environmentally friendly practices. FAO argues that there are also more and more farmers who reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers and direct their production towards consumers willing to pay a small premium for organic products, but this production is limited in relation to total food production. There is ample evidence that these production strategies, in addition to being more beneficial to the environment, are economically viable for the market sectors they serve. The irruption of the organic cultivation of blueberries, for example, is no longer a novelty in the World's fruit supply. Its demand has expanded and increased in the international markets, enhancing this ecological variant of the crop.

"In Chile, organic corresponds to 10% of the production of blueberries," says Carlos Klein, who is a producer and former director of the Organic Producers Association of Chile.

The subject of organic farming already has enough information, research and literature, so it is good to share this knowledge among producers.

The international consultant Carlos Klein is an agronomist and researcher at the Universidad Católica de Temuco, and will be one of the rapporteurs of the 9th International Seminar to be held on November 9 in Huelva, Spain. On this occasion he will advance on the theme, "Ecological blueberry cultivation: fundamentals of production and industry behavior".

Following the success of the green revolution that began in the 1960s, some groups are calling for a similar effort that would raise food production in the poorest and most hungry regions. Some people have coined the words "Double green revolution" or new green revolution, since the objective would be not only to raise food production but to do it in an environmentally sound and sustainable way.

Various factors would require the initiation of a second green revolution, but this should not be limited to the scientific problem of reducing the yield deficit. Science and technology need to be coupled with participatory mechanisms, such as training and reform of public institutions and policies, because the current definitions of economic viability consider only productivity and profitability, regardless of sustainability.

Source: Blueberries Consulting

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