INIA has more than 80 Technology Transfer Groups (GTT), training more than 270 advisers. In this way, almost 1000 producers are served directly and more than 8000 indirectly. In addition, numerous projects in execution of competitive funds should be considered that allow the institution's coverage to be expanded..

Santiago, April 2020.- In the 1980s, professionals from the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) established the Technological Transfer Groups (GTT) in Chile, a successful work methodology brought from abroad that currently continues to provide benefits. This is the case of José María Valdebenito (34), a farmer from the Melipilla area, who for four years has participated in a GTT with an Agroecological approach led by the INIA La Platina extension agent, Fabiola Sepúlveda, and today - in full expansion of the Covid-19- thanks to what was learned in that group, he is able to deliver quality fruits and vegetables to the homes of several homes in the Metropolitan region.

José María, like many small producers in the country, was affected by the different restrictions derived from the Pandemic. Social distancing caused their sales to drop considerably. The inability to deliver the products that he had grown with effort during the last season to intermediaries became a problem until he decided to reinvent himself, taking advantage of the technology he had at hand. This is how he turned to Instagram, the social network chosen to publicize La Canasta del Huerto, an undertaking that consists of supplying quality products to homes in the communes of Santiago, Providencia and Las Condes. Of course, the young farmer highlighted, under strict security measures recommended by the health authority.

Hydroponic lettuces, tomatoes, basil and other products grown in a sustainable way are some of the products requested by its consumers, who recognize not only the quality, but also the freshness and flavor of a vegetable or fruit from the Chilean countryside. The success of the initiative created by José María has even been such that he began to associate with other farmers in his GTT, to respond to a demand that grows day by day, due to the good offer it offers.

"The key to the success of the venture is in the short marketing circuit, because, on the one hand, it makes the vegetables reach the consumer fresher. While, on the other hand, it makes the farmer earn what is due for his production, since by not going through an intermediary, the profit is greater for us as producers ”, he explained.

Soon, the young entrepreneur added, he hopes to expand the distribution range to other communes in the Metropolitan region, develop a website that allows online sales and "change with all this the perception of small agriculture," he stressed.

GTT

INIA has more than 80 Technology Transfer Groups (GTT), training more than 270 advisers. In this way, almost 1,000 producers are served directly and more than 8,000 producers indirectly. In addition, numerous projects in the execution of competitive funds should be considered that allow the institution's coverage of action to be expanded. "Undoubtedly, an important work of diffusion and technology transfer that we do to strengthen the country's agriculture", highlighted Bustos.

Meanwhile, the Regional Director of INIA La Platina, Emilio Ruz, pointed out that this case represents the spirit of the work done for years in the GTT groups. In addition, he added that agriculture is an essential activity for food and under any circumstance must continue working to ensure food for the population. In this sense, INIA is an indispensable part of the food chain and cannot stop either, so it adapted to the critical conditions of the moment and took the sanitary safeguards recommended by the health authority, so that its professionals continue to technically accompany the farmers.

The GTT methodology consists of a group of agricultural producers of one or more categories meeting to share productive experiences, make field visits and analyze possible solutions. In addition, a specialist advises participants on issues relevant to the production of their respective items.

Regarding the tools provided by the Agroecology GTT of INIA La Platina, José María highlighted, for example, the technical workshops on plant health, but also the marketing training that allowed him and other participants of the GTT in the Metropolitan region, to be supplying a population that is in confinement as a sanitary measure, for an extended period and it is not yet known how long it will last.

About INIA

The Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) is the main institution for agri-food research, development and innovation in Chile. Linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, it has a national presence and a work team of more than 1,000 highly qualified people. It executes an average of 400 projects per year around 5 strategic areas: Climate Change, Sustainability, Food of the Future, Emerging Technologies, and Extension and Training of Capacities. These initiatives contribute to the sustainable agri-food development of the country, creating value and proposing innovative solutions to farmers, strategic partners and the population, generating a social profitability that varies between 15% and 25%, for each peso invested in each of their projects.

INIA, more than 55 years leading the sustainable agri-food development of Chile.

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Press contact: María Jesús Espinoza, INIA La Platina communications manager mariajesus.espinoza@www.inia.cl