Chilean fruit growers are extremely alarmed about the water crisis that has affected Chile for more than a decade, as it could play a decisive role in the future of the activity. The country has just experienced its driest July since there are records and the rains forecasted for these days will help alleviate the situation but will not solve the 14-year drought issue, especially because this has been, by far, the hardest year we have experienced,” stated the president of Fedefruta, Jorge Valenzuela, in conversations with TVN. “We are talking about an 80-90% deficit, depending on the valley. However, the rains will be a tremendous help at this point in 2021.”
The Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile, Fedefruta, will meet with the Government to address the crisis and seek solutions.
“The Mesa del Agua is a work table that was formed a couple of years ago. The National Agricultural Society participates in it directly. However, we know it is much more a political table than a technical table because 80% of it is made up of ministers, undersecretaries, and parliamentarians. Hopefully, we'll be able to leave more concrete measures in the last year of this Government. However, we do believe the table is lacking more technical people to prepare the very much needed water issue investment plan,” Valenzuela stated. "We require a broader plan. It all depends on what we are going to do with desalination plants, what will happen to reservoirs, basins, or the recovery of aquifers. In other words, we believe we need a more robust plan to deal with this crisis," he added.
Could the lack of water impact prices?
Faced with this question, Valenzuela responded with caution. “There could be 8-10% fewer crops this season and some will be more affected than others. Some people believe they could be table grapes, walnuts, and some citrus fruits.” "However, we'll only find out what effect this production adjustment, which will be made based on water availability, will have starting November/December," he added.
You can see the whole interview in the following video: