By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona
In the next 15 months, the region of O’Higgins, Chile will welcome a cycle of workshops and seminars designed to improve olive oil production under a Program of Technological Diffusion (PDT). The project is co-financed by InnovaChile under the auspices of the Corporation of Production Promotion (CORFO) and also includes a team of specialists from the University of Chile.
The program will seek to arrive at solutions for some of the current problems facing the Chilean olive oil sector such as low levels of production, irregularity in the size and strength of the olive trees, poor handling of the pruning process, a lack of control of plagues and various tree illnesses, and inadequate amounts of irrigation and nutrition. At the moment 2300 hectares of land in the O’Higgins region are dedicated solely to the cultivation of the olive.
The regional director of CORFO, Félix Ortiz has explained that, “this program responds to the needs of a sector with high levels of potential growth. This initiative seeks to optimize the cultivation process and at the same time looks to establish a strategy which will position Chilean olive oil firmly in the international markets.”
Under the framework of the Program of Technological Diffusion, a number of educational initiatives are set to take place including Positioning, Image and Bottling Development workshops. The program will also present a Diagnosis of Agriculture Production by agronomist and engineer Thomas Fichet, Ph.D. from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and professor of the University of Chile.
During the period in which the program is to be implemented, participating producers will incorporate new technological advances to improve existing levels of output and will also perfect new marketing strategies. Currently Chile is home to some 4,000 hectares of olive plantations and with a climate similar to that of the Mediterranean, the country boasts excellent growing seasons and high quality olives and oil.
ElTipógrafo.cl July 22, 2010 “Productores olivícolas reciben apoyo en mejoras productivas y estrategias de marketing”