Despite the state of catastrophe decreed in Chile due to the spread of the coronavirus, fruit production has taken extreme hygiene measures to protect the sector's workers and to continue at its usual pace, thus guaranteeing the supply of the Chilean population and international markets.
When the state of catastrophe was declared, Fedefruta, the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile, carried out a survey on the state of crops in the country to analyze the impact of the health crisis on the productive sector. According to their study, more than two-thirds of apple growers expect to finish the harvests between the second half of April and the first half of May, so there will be a significant demand for workers and the operation of the production chain. The table grapes sector has harvested nearly 90% of its production, 400,000 tons of which are expected to be destined for the domestic market, either for fresh consumption or for agro-industry, so production can't be stopped.
April is a key month for walnuts and kiwis, as the harvest of both species peaks in the coming days. 80% of walnut producers expect to finish their work next month, which means there will be very intense work in the coming days, as well as for the production of kiwi. The sector must ensure it can operate in these weeks since it is a fruit with high vitamin content and that is very consumed in the country.
To achieve this, it is necessary to redouble the care and sanitation measures in the fields, facilities, and transportation means. That's why Fedefruta is disseminating instructions and has set up a channel so that producers can get answers to their concerns.
For now, the task of looking after workers and maintaining supplies is critical. The entire sector must continue to work together to agree on actions and move forward.