The Netherlands is a world leader in water management and one of the main providers of sustainable systems for water production and supply, as well as for the collection, treatment and reintroduction of recycled water into the production system. Because of its history, it has become an expert in flood protection, water supply and water treatment.
"We have the opportunity to learn from their collaborative experience and manage to become more sustainable," said Kurt Neuling, manager of the Transforma Fruticultura Sustentable de Valparaíso (Perfruts) program, during one of the first working meetings held in the Aconcagua basin with representatives of public and private organizations from the Netherlands.
The Dutch-Chilean Alliance will implement an initiative in the Aconcagua that will address issues such as water retention, governance support, aquifer management and wastewater treatment.
The project plan is entitled "Sustainable Adaptation to Drought in the Aconcagua Valley" and the first introductory meeting helped define proposals, objectives and areas to work on. Also, discussions were held in groups to identify opportunities and challenges in the sector, looking at a preliminary view of the different contributions that could be made by the partners.
The list of participants included representatives of the private sector, public sector, civil society, channel associations, representatives of the Partners for Water (PvW) program, represented by the Dutch business agency (RVO), the Embassy of the Netherlands in Chile, ProChile, INIA La Cruz, Juntas de Vigilancia, Nature's Pride, Agricultural Producer Associations, Fedafruc, Fedefruta, and the Valparaíso Sustainable Fruit Growing Program (Perfruts), among others.
This first meeting served to look into what Aconcagua stakeholders need the most to improve their agricultural practices and become more efficient in the use and reuse of irrigation water in one of the main basins for the cultivation of fruit trees in Chile. "The demand in European countries for agricultural products produced in a sustainable and innocuous way is driving interest in ensuring the sustainability of fruit growing and in the type of production that those markets need," said Neuling.
Interesting facts about the Netherlands
The Netherlands accounts for 63% of all European avocado imports from third countries. The vast majority of avocados arriving in the Netherlands are intended for the European market (re-export) and only a small part of imports, about 9%, is intended for the Dutch market.
It is also the second largest exporter in the world, after the United States, and the main export destination in the European Union.
In recent years, the country has notoriously been moving towards a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, precision-focused and circular agricultural model, with organic production methods and with the objective to reduce the consumption of natural resources (gas, water, etc.) in the horticultural sector.