The event takes place over these two days in Metropolitan Santiago, addressing various topics such as the effects of recent rains, future climate change, and the main research and development technologies within the field.
The inaugural session was opened by Michael Bailey, Global Director of Small Tractors and High-Value Crops Production Systems at John Deere. He showcased tractor technology that operates without pilots, executing tasks remotely from a phone.
Jorge Valenzuela, President of the Federation of Chilean Fruit Producers (FEDEFRUTA), mentioned, “There are currently robots applying herbicides under phone commands. Agrochemicals are being sprayed using drones. The focus now is on which of these machines generates less noise for sustainability reasons and not disturbing the environment.”
He further emphasized, “We are very optimistic from the agricultural perspective, but we need a dose of global reality. In FruitTrade 2023, for instance, we will learn about China’s future, which consumes 45 percent of our fruits.”
In her opening remarks, Ignacia Fernandez, Undersecretary of Agriculture, stated, “We have been working on strengthening agricultural attachés to enhance the representation of the Ministry of Agriculture through ProChile. We aim to boost our presence in Asia, perhaps by opening a new attaché. Recently, SAG (Agricultural and Livestock Service) conducted a tour in Asia to continue the phytosanitary agenda for plums, peaches, apricots, and apples. This is to advance the path towards new and broader markets for Chilean export products.”
Fernández highlighted advancements in phytosanitary access for fresh plums to the United States in 2022 and lemons to Mexico in 2023. “This is a priority for us as well,” she added.
Ignacio Fernández, Director of ProChile, mentioned in his opening speech, “In 2022, fruit exports totaled around USD 5 billion, and as of this year, it’s already at USD 3.8 billion, which is quite promising.”
“One significant brand is ‘Cherries from Chile,’ which has achieved resounding success, not just due to ProChile’s efforts, but primarily due to the excellent work carried out by the private sector to enhance cherry exports,” he added.
He highlighted efforts in Asia to further expand market presence within and beyond China. “Without a doubt, India is another relevant market. In July, we had a public-private mission and could witness how fruit serves as our country’s ambassador in various markets. We are reaching places one couldn’t imagine, generating immense pride and a strong sense of opportunity. Since the signing of our partial trade agreement in 2007, trade with India has grown by about 500%. Thus, there is significant untapped potential that we must continue to work on. Undoubtedly, apples, kiwis, cherries, grapes, and blueberries hold tremendous potential.”
The event is organized by FEDEFRUTA and supported by the Ministry of Agriculture through ProChile. More than 70 stands from auxiliary fruit industry companies and over 40 technical talks focusing on markets, commercialization, technology, and exportation of Chilean fruit have taken place over these two days.
The thematic focuses have included Market Diversification and Exploration, Research and Development, Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture, Financing and Economy, Consumption Trends, Climate Change, and Sustainability.