With funding from the regional government, and the participation of the agricultural high schools of Yerbas Buenas, Molina and Duao, the Institute of Agricultural Research, INIA, formalized the start of a project that stimulates the development of sustainable agriculture in the Maule Region, specializing students in biological control practices.

Marta Martínez Cruz de Yerbas Buenas high school students will specialize in biological controllers.

The Marta Martínez Cruz Agricultural High School in Yerbas Buenas was the place chosen for the launch of the project "More sustainable and safer agriculture through innovation in agricultural high schools in vulnerable areas: training future SMEs to produce beneficial insects", initiative led by INIA Quilamapu, and which is the starting point for the specialization of students from the Maule Region in biological controllers of agricultural pests.

INIA researcher Luis Devotto, in charge of the project, explained that in the two years of the initiative, 120 students from the agricultural high schools of Yerbas Buenas, Molina and Duao will directly benefit, in addition to another 480 from the same establishments who will receive indirect benefits and influences. In this same plan will be 1,500 direct relatives of the students and about 1,000 producers.

Entomologist from INIA Quilamapu Luis Devotto leads a project that has funding from the Maule regional government.

At the launch of this project, the mayor of Yerbas Buenas, Luis Cadegán; the Regional Director of INIA Raihuén, Rodrigo Avilés; and the Director of the Marta Martínez Cruz High School, Cristián Rivas, all of whom valued this project, recognizing the importance of students creating a specialty in their training process. In this sense, Rivas highlighted the fact that this initiative includes the installation, in his Lyceum, of a model laboratory for the production of Trichograms and Chrysoperlas, two recognized biological control insects. "We want our Lyceum to be recognized for being the only one specialized in biological control in the region," he stressed.

In the same sense, the entomologist from INIA Quilamapu, Luis Devotto, also stated that the project seeks to contribute to the Maule Region being a leader in the production and use of natural enemies, to generate a more sustainable and innocuous agriculture, emphasizing the leading role that the three Agricultural High Schools will have in the production of natural enemies.

Within its 24 months of execution, the project will give way to four stages that begin with the implementation of the pilot laboratory for the production of natural enemies at the Marta Martínez Cruz Agricultural School, and that continue with the transfer of knowledge from INIA to the three agricultural high schools. The following stages address the white march of insect production in the laboratory and the dissemination of this innovative task.

About INIA

The Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) is the main agricultural research institution in Chile, dependent on the Ministry of Agriculture, with a national presence from Arica to Magallanes, through its 10 Regional Centers, as well as technical offices and experimental centers in each one of the regions of the country.

Its mission is to generate and transfer knowledge and strategic technologies on a global scale, to produce innovation and improve the competitiveness of the agri-food sector. www.inia.cl

Press contact: infoquilamapu@www.inia.cl