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The role of the banking sector in the face of water scarcity in Chile

Banco de Chile is positioned as a link in the productive chain of the agricultural sector, which they see as “a fundamental pillar in the economy and development of the country”, and summons Chilean producers to the Agricultural Water Summit - Chile 2021.

1/14/2021

Alejandro Friedli, Manager of Large Companies, Products and Agriculture at Banco de Chile.

The drought that has affected Chile since 2010 has led the government to take emergency measures to help farmers and ranchers. According to information published by the General Water Directorate of the Ministry of Public Works of Chile, as of November 2020, 16 water shortage decrees remain in force that apply to 79 communes, concentrated in the Valparaíso and Metropolitan regions.

In this scenario, it is essential to invest in solutions that allow efficient use of water resources. Alejandro Friedli, Manager of Large Companies, Products and Agriculture at Banco de Chile, commented that water is one of the most sensitive points of the agricultural business and for this reason, the institution has been concerned with creating specialized financing instruments for agriculture.

He explained that in a context of drought “we have supported investments in storage infrastructure (for example, reservoirs and dams) and improvements in their efficiency (with coatings), investments to reduce losses in water conduction, expansion of the surface of modernized irrigation and installation of sensors and equipment that improve the efficiency of water use, among others ”, said Friedli.

In this regard, he explained that the role of Banco de Chile is to be a link in the productive chain of the agricultural sector, which they see as "a fundamental pillar in the country's economy and development." From that perspective, he affirmed that they trust the national agri-food industry and its growth capacity, for which it has specialized in the creation of adequate financial instruments for the sector, in which the structure and vision of the short, medium and long term are relevant.

To this, he added that "we have a human team that knows the particularities of the business and we maintain a constant participation in the union activities of the sector, to be up to date with the present and future needs of our clients".

The executive said that historically Banco de Chile has had a close relationship with agriculture. In fact, it arose after the merger of three financial institutions and one of them was Banco Agrícola.

“Although we have always been in the sector, the great changes in the industry have motivated us to keep up and be able to better advise clients. In 2017 we strengthened the agricultural area with the aim of providing more specialized and close attention, ”he said.

He commented that the entity also maintains a close relationship with the union and productive sector, to keep up to date with current and future reality and needs.

Agricultural Water Summit - Chile 2021

Collaborative instances where different links of the agricultural industry chain meet are necessary to be able to emerge in times of water adversity.

Companies like Banco de Chile work to promote investment in the industry, providing economic solidity to water projects that help consolidate the future of agribusiness.

Agricultural Water Summit - Chile 2021 will be an event that generates spaces for conversation, where different actors from the fruit and vegetable sector can meet and work on water problems and challenges.

The conference will be held on April 20, 2021, at the Sun Monticello Hotel Conference Center, located in San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile.


 
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