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Chile: Raspberry producers innovate in the Maule Region

The Territorial Innovation Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture is carrying out a program that allows the strengthening of the sector via training and technology.

The Maule Region is one of the largest producers of raspberry in the country; however, the crop's productivity can be improved. The Ministry of Agriculture created the Territorial Innovation Committee (CTI) as a pilot for this purpose. The CTI is working with 1,700 producers of raspberry located in the South Maule communes.

As part of this work, the CTI held a workshop with 40 small producers from the communes of Parral, Longavi, and Retiro, which represent all the farmers benefited.

The CTI seeks to be an articulator of the demand for research and innovation between the berries commercial chain and the national research institutions and public funds.

The workshop's first stage consisted of presenting the results of the work with different agencies and producers that discussed which were the major issues faced by producers.

According to them, one of the most conclusive factors was the need for replacing raspberry plants and improving irrigation systems. For this reason, the Ministry of Agriculture, with the support of INDAP, began a program to gradually replace the plants to improve productivity.

Regarding this program, the Regional Minister of Agriculture, Jorge Cespedes, said that one of the Government's central concerns was creating conditions through the Ministry of Agriculture so that the small farmers could improve their production.

"That's why we are supporting innovation tools that enable them to improve their crops, this Committee allows us to articulate the support of various services to reach the same goal. One of our axes in institutional management is the reduction of inequality and to do that we must give small producers the tools to improve their conditions," he said.

In turn, the coordinator of the CTI, Guillermo Sepulveda, said that, in the short period of time they have been in operation, they have managed to establish improved orchards, they had developed irrigation projects that complement the replacement of orchards, and that they had also presented a project to the Regional Government to build an extension center developed by INIA and FIA.

"Another project that we are presenting is having the INIA evaluate the new varieties that the Catholic University has. Among other actions that will improve the production of the 1,737 small producers that are working with us we have managed to establish joint irrigation and orchard projects with the INDAP, and the regularization of water rights with the CNR," he said.


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