"Cooperation is essential, Chile and UC Davis have had a very close relationship for many years. Now, the presence of UC Davis in Chile gives us another opportunity to further strengthen these ties," said Dr. Julio Kalazich, National Director of Agricultural Research Institute of Chile (INIA) in the symposium "Adapting to Climate Change Family Agriculture”. This event was organized by the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (FONTAGRO) and co-organized by INIA .
One of the eight panelists of the symposium was Dr. Pablo Zamora, Chief Science Officer of UC Davis Chile, who participated in the panel "Promoting Resilience and Adaptation of Family Agriculture to Climate Change: Opportunities for International Cooperation ".
"UC Davis Chile is a center of innovation based on science, therefore, most of the projects implemented and the type of collaboration established has a substantially solid technical component and at the same time, is tries to link this part to the agricultural extension," said Dr. Zamora. In this work, scientists from UC Davis (US) colalborate with researchers in Chile, from the universities of Tarapacá, Andrés Bello and Talca. In addition, at this early stage, UC Davis Chile counts on the support of its two vineyard business partners, Concha y Toro and San Pedro Tarapacá Group (VSPT).
This doctor in biotechnology added: "Once the research is conducted and the platforms are available, the idea is to then transfer it to small and medium sized producers. Everything we do as UC Davis Chile is absolutely aligned with the interests of this symposium." This is because additioanlly, one of the center´s four lines of work is to adapt to climate change, along with genetic improvement, post-harvest technology development, and viticulture and enology.
In this last line, Dr. Zamora commented: "we are developing new alliances with INIA on how we can reassess some wine grape crops that are currently in the hands of small producers." This initiative was also assessed by National Director, Dr. Kalazich, since it points to a key issue discussed during his presentation: The Adaptation to Climate Change. "Sometimes one looks at the empty glass on this topic. But we must also focus on opportunities in Chile. Yes, it is true, family farming is having difficulties. But if we do not do more to adapt, it suffer even more. We must make all efforts, the government has focused all its energy on working with familyfarming."
Following his presentation, Dr. Kalazich added: "The wine grape is one that would have a great chance in the south with climate change. We are working with economic strains and some very old vines that could give a fresh air, especially to family farming. We have already talked with UC Davis Chile on this issue."
The "Adaption to Climate Change in Family Farming " symposium was held during the Fifth Technical Workshop Project, organized annually by FONTAGRO. The activity was supported by the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID), the Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura – IICA and the Global Envinromental Facility Fund.
As a result of the seminar, panelists and moderators generated the "Declaration of Santiago " in which they expressed their commitment to support family farming in the challenges faced by climate change. The text highlighted measures such as uniting national and international effort, proposing the implementation of public policies that encourage the use of best practices and promoting innovation processes.
The Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology, FONTAGRO, is an alliance of countries established to fund research and innovation in science and technology in the agricultural sector. The fund contributes to reducing poverty and increasing agrifood chain competitiveness and sustainable management of natural resources in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Created in 1998, it has fifteen international members whom have contributed with capital exceeding 100 million. It is sponsored by the IDB and IICA. The FONTAGRO member countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela . To learn more about the role of this fund in Chile: http://www.fontagro.org/sites/default/files/2014_FONTAGRO_Chile.pdf