Chile: Coquimbo fruit sector has lost US $ 1.000 million due to drought

The Sociedad Agrícola del Norte (SAN), headed by the director of Fedefruta, María Inés Figari, met with the Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Furche, to provide him with the background of the severe crisis that the agriculture in the Coquimbo Region is experiencing. cause of a drought that already extends for almost a decade.

At the meeting, Figari announced proposals to protect the productive sector and rural workers in Limarí, Choapa and Elqui.

The levels of water dammed today in Coquimbo do not exceed 6% of capacity, which has led fruit growers to take drastic measures such as starting crops, severe pruning so that the orchards survive with the minimum water, or even abandon plantations complete, indicated the SAN at the meeting.

"This has generated a decrease of 60% of the agricultural area of ​​the region, and led to the disappearance of 32 thousand hectares of fruit trees", Graffled María Inés, in a statement issued by Fedefruta.

The economic losses in orchards, facilities and working capital invested are close to US $ 1.000 million, Figari calculates with the estimates made by the Sociedad Agrícola del Norte.

"Without water, people in the countryside do not have how to live, they do not have how to eat," said the leader.
The SAN also pointed out that the debt of the fruit producers of Coquimbo reaches almost US $ 1.600 million, a sum whose payment has not been possible due to the lack of livelihood that this situation generates.

"Without water, people in the countryside do not have how to live, they do not have how to eat"The leader said.

The SAN also pointed out that the debt of the fruit producers of Coquimbo reaches almost US $ 1.600 million, a sum whose payment has not been possible due to the lack of livelihood that this situation generates.

Measures:

The director of Fedefruta asked Minister Furche for financial measures, such as the rescheduling and extension of bank loans, for the State to be the guarantor of the farmers through a CORFO guarantee, and long-term loans - over 15 years - so that the farmers who still have assets can reinvest in them.

In the immediate term, Figari requested -among other things- to stop the auctions for bank debt, the cancellation of agricultural contributions this year, as well as taxes for exporters for commissions paid abroad, as well as competitions for irrigation to permanence and elimination. of the annual energy bill in peak hours.

Also, in the medium term, he proposed analyzing the construction of a "great aqueduct, like a water highway, to bring water from areas more to the south of Chile, from the resource that is lost in the sea", Said the trade union leader.

Also, the construction of a treatment plant for wastewater and / or desalination plants to insert them into the system, carrying out pre-feasibility studies for head reservoirs in the foothills, and the constitution of a Ministry of Water that has resources for the development of said infrastructures.

It should be noted that prior to the meeting with the representative of the agriculture portfolio, Figari met with the president of Fedefruta, Juan Carolus Brown Bauzá, to analyze the background.

"In its last session, the Fedefruta board of directors decided to fully support the entire management of María Inés Figari, to publicize the disastrous consequences that the drought in the Coquimbo region have caused in the productive, financial, social and labor sectors, because the lack of water has cost at least 40 thousand jobs, affecting thousands of people living in the countryside"Brown said.

 

Source: Fruit Portal

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