Asoex has signed two major agreements with authorities in the Region of La Araucanía in central Chile to promote the development of fruit production and exports in the area.
The Chilean fruit export association said the deals – one with the Municipality of Lautaro and the other with Lonkos Community Council and various peasant cooperatives in the region –would enable it to form strategic alliances and provide training, research and technical assistance to local farmers.
Asoex president Ronald Bown said the agreements would help raise productivity and improve the quality of life of indigenous communities and fruit producers.
Raúl Schifferli, the Mayor of Lautaro, added: “This is very important for the peasant world, since, with this agreement, we are going to strongly help the producers of our commune to give them the value that their crops deserve, so that they can position themselves abroad.”
The regional councillor and president of the Chilean Cores, Marcelo Carrasco, hailed the deals as a major milestone for the native peoples of Chile, which would move them from traditional agriculture to talking with large exporters.
According to Asoex, La Araucanía exported 104,143 tonnes of fresh fruits to different markets worldwide in 2019/20, an increase of 13 per cent on the previous season. The main fruits exported were apples, representing 78.3 per cent of the total, followed by blueberries (12.4 per cent), cherries (9 per cent) and kiwifruit (0.3 per cent).