Santiago, May 2020.- When it comes to continuing to learn, there are no excuses for not doing it. This is the case of a group of small farmers from the Metropolitan region, who, thanks to the support of INIA La Platina extension workers, defeated digital barriers and joined online classes.

An example of this was a group of 10 producers from the María Pinto commune, who for the first time were able to access training from their cell phones. "The result was exciting, because you realize the motivation they have to continue delivering good products to consumers, especially in this complex moment that we are living," said extensionist Paulo Godoy. While another successful experience was lived in Pirque, where 11 farmers learned sustainable techniques to produce quality vegetables. "Undoubtedly, technology has been the great ally when it comes to continuing to carry out some activities suspended as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic," said Fabiola Sepúlveda.

Both are examples of how INIA's extension agents looked for a way to continue to provide technical assistance to farmers. To date, the result reaches around 50 farmers and 30 trained extension agents in the Metropolitan region. However, it is expected to continue expanding this number, announced the Regional Director of INIA La Platina, Emilio Ruz.

“The work of the INIA La Platina extension workers has allowed producers affected by sanitary problems or of various kinds to solve their doubts online or continue with workshops already programmed. In this way, they have been able to produce to contribute to the correct functioning of the country's food chain, ”said the regional authority.

Similarly, Ruz added, there are tasks that under strict sanitary measures have continued to be carried out on the ground. The installation of 70 pheromone traps for monitoring the painted bedbug plague and the accompaniment of beekeepers, are some cases.

"It is very important to install the traps, because in this way we can find an adequate control methodology to combat the main plague of vegetables that generates economic damage not only to the area, but also to the economy of the families of small farmers," said José Lakes.

Meanwhile, the beekeeping activity requires adequate management around nutrition and health, especially as a consequence of an extended drought that affected the nutrition of bees. Felipe Gelcich, together with the Beekeeping Network, generated a document with technical recommendations. (See here) .

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