Chile

Berry producers in Biobio are getting ready for a harvest marked by the pandemic

The pandemic has been a challenge for the agro-export sector, which has had to adapt to the new health scenario in order to continue carrying out its activity. Preparation and the establishment of protocols have turned out to be key. For this reason, the PTI Berries Biobío Centro, an integrated territorial program co-funded by the Corporation for the Promotion of the Production (CORFO), has given a presentation together with the exporter Agricom to establish guidelines and prepare all berry producers in the Biobío province for the next harvest, which will kick off in a few months.

“Some time ago, we conducted a survey among PTI producers, and one of the issues and concerns for the future was precisely the issue of dealing with COVID. That is why we held talks with the Agricom company, since they had carried out the citrus harvest in the same circumstances,” said Carlos Muñoz, Manager of PTI Berries Centro.

Berry production is very important at the regional level, with about 1,800 hectares planted, and with more than 90% of them in the province of Biobío. As highlighted by the seremi of Agriculture, Francisco Lagos, “it is important to stress that blueberry exports were the leading activity for the agricultural sector of the Biobío Region, with sales worth above 87 million dollars in 2019, according to data from Prochile based on figures from the National Customs Service. For this reason, it is worth highlighting that all sanitary guidelines for the future harvest are already being implemented.”

Andrés Larraín, production manager of the exporter Agricom, was in charge of explaining to all producers the steps to follow, based on the experience built by the company. "For us, it is very important to teach our producers to work well, so that they can carry out their tasks. That is why we gave our all to design a protocol for producers to follow and to give them guidelines," he said.

Lastly, Iván Carrasco, producer of the San Miguel farm, said that “it has been a new experience for everyone; a challenge. So far, work in the fields has continued almost like normal, but we have concerns about how the harvest will be carried out, even though the staff is being careful and adhering to the guidelines, and we will continue to do so.”

Source: Diario Concepción / simfruit.cl


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