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Chile announces the 'Sowing for Chile' program to mitigate rising food prices

In a meeting with the General Director of the FAO, the Chilean Minister of Agriculture analyzed collaboration strategies for the sustainable development of agriculture in Chile, mitigate the rise in inputs and contribute to food security.

4/6/2022

QU Dongyu, FAO's general director, and Esteban Valenzuela, Chilean Minister of Agriculture

The Chilean Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, received the General Director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), QU Dongyu; the Regional Representative of the entity, Julio Berdegué and the Chief Economist of the FAO, Máximo Torero, with whom he addressed the effects that climatic, economic and logistical problems have had on the development of agriculture in the region.

"We have had the visit of the general director of the FAO and last week we had the regional meeting of this organization in Quito in which two concepts were strengthened: collaboration, in these difficult times when, as we all know, we are in a Complicated moment of a "perfect storm", shipping exchange problems, lack of inputs, food price hikes and also the strategic view of the transition to a more efficient agriculture, with more technology and with more participation of all the actors", he pointed out. Valenzuela.

As explained by the Secretary of State, “it has become clear in our conversation with the FAO that we must aim for a triangle that seeks water efficiency, concern for rural development and all actors in agriculture and collaboration in these complex times. ”.

Along these lines, the Secretary of State announced that he is working on a program called “Sow for Chile” and “in this way, we are going to make the maximum effort to collaborate with small-scale agriculture, with small producers of wheat and other cereals. to be able to substantially alleviate this rise in inputs and thus be able to contribute to our food security and the containment of agricultural prices”.

The idea, added the minister, is that in "the next few days, the way to apply for these programs and their implementation will be announced, especially through our Institute for Agricultural Development, Indap, which will be focused on said homework".

For Julio Berdegué, the visit of the General Director of FAO aims to "show the national government the willingness to collaborate with the transformations that this government wants to carry out (...) The new strategic framework of the FAO 2022-2031 has a central concept, it is It is essential to transform the food systems of the planet, because if we do not transform them we cannot face the challenges of today or those of the next generations, starting with climate change, this creates enormous opportunities for collaboration with a government that has a very important transformative agenda” .

Rise in the price of food

Particularly regarding the impact that the increase in the prices of some products such as oil has had, the secretary of state explained that "Russia, which is one of the main exporters of oil and products that are the raw material, has closed, If we add to that the global alert and the search to ensure oil in various countries, it has generated, particularly in a couple of oils, almost a doubling of the price. We hope that this is medium-term and that it can be corrected in the next six months. For this reason, we call for responsibility, for the pragmatism of seeking alternatives, innovations, and in the coming days we are going to publish recommendations for the effective and lower-cost use of alternatives for daily food.”

Along these lines, the chief economist of FAO, Máximo Torero explained that "the situation we are experiencing today is complex, after Covid 19, agriculture proved to be quite resilient, however, with the conflict and the war in Ukraine we have put a little more of stress to this system that is seen in two dimensions, one in the countries that are net importers of cereals since 12 million metric tons of wheat and around 11 million metric tons of corn have disappeared. In total in the year, the Russian Federation and Ukraine produce 30% of all cereals in the world. Russia and Ukraine are also the largest suppliers of oilseeds, more than 56% comes from the Russian Federation, which is not being exported either."

And he added: “the other problem is that the Russian Federation is the main exporter of nitrogen and the second of potassium and the third of phosphorus in the world, which are very important components for fertilizers and that is relevant for Chile because the country is an exporter of high value products and to be able to produce, fertilizers are required”.


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