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"The agricultural and fruit world is kind of in a state of shock regarding this tremendous problem"

Chile's water crisis continues to deepen

According to the latest water balance of the Ministry of Public Works (MOP), the month of July 2021 has not only been the warmest in the last 72 years, but also one of the driest months in the country's history since records began.

"The agricultural and fruit world is kind of in a state of shock regarding this tremendous problem," stated Jorge Valenzuela, president of the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta).

"Today fruit generates around 700,000 jobs, and if this situation continues, there will be areas that will no longer produce fruit or produce less fruit due to a lack of water availability," he added.

Fedefruta estimated in that "the most affected areas are the central-north and central areas, from Copiapo to Curico, where the deficit of water and snow, which is the country's natural water reservoir, is higher than 80%. In addition, the country has had a water deficit this decade, so irrigation is very difficult this season."

The union stated that one of the most outstanding challenges they have to deal with is "the displacement of Chilean fruit growing to the south and the sector's adaptations to water availability and uncertainty due to temperature instabilities." "If this continues, it will be disastrous for the production and job unemployment. It will be a disaster for our rural area and for the country," they added.



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