Chile: Frontal system and river overflows flooded fruit orchards

Chile: Frontal system and river overflows flooded fruit orchards

Chilean Fruit Producers due to river flooding and property damage: "We lack water infrastructure to prevent the collapse we are facing."
Cherry orchards in Chile

The Fruit Producers Federation of Chile has received reports of damage to properties and fruit facilities due to the frontal system that is affecting various productive areas, whether it be due to floods caused by river or canal overflows, mudslides, crops affected by excessive rainfall, lack of drinking water, or roads blocked due to this situation.

“As Fedefruta, we are assessing with our regional associations and fruit producers the impact of the intense rains that are still ongoing, but we already have reports of significant damage in fruit-growing areas between Valparaíso and Maule regions,” reports Jorge Valenzuela Trebilcock, president of the Federation, cherry producer, and nurseryman from the Malloa area, which has been affected by the rains.

However, according to the fruit leader, these historic rivers surges should not be causing the problems that are currently being generated. “In Chile, we lack water infrastructure to prevent the collapse we are facing. We need a network of medium-sized reservoirs that we have been proposing for years, not only to harness water resources for sanitation and sustenance in times of drought but also to contain and anticipate the situations we are currently experiencing,” adds Jorge Valenzuela, who is currently assessing the situation on properties in the O’Higgins Region.

For this reason, Fedefruta has sent a survey to producers and associations involved in the activity to assess the collapse in rural areas due to the frontal system. “Over the past 20 years, we have developed with the assumption that it would never rain in Chile,” concludes the representative of fruit growers, “and now we are unprepared to respond to this situation.”

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