Proposals of the candidates agree on vision about agriculture

The forum held at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences showed transversal ideas and preoccupations about the candidates for the future of this sector.

November 13, 2017

Many more coincidences than dissent were heard in the "Program Definitions for Chilean Agriculture" political and technical forum, a space that allowed representatives of all the committees in the presidential elections to present their proposals concerning the development of the sector in order to convert the country in food industry power.

To the meeting, organized by our University and held at the auditorium of the Faculty of Agrarian Sciences, came representatives of candidates Beatriz Sánchez, Sebastián Piñera, Carolina Goic and Alejandro Guillier, who made presentations and answered questions from the public.

President Alvaro Rojas and dean Hermine Vogel were present in the activity, which was moderated the Pro Rector Pablo Villalobos, who noted that the approaches heard were quite transversal, like climate change, the Water Code, the rights of workers, innovation and environmental sustainability. "There is enough matter to make a good government by the one who will be elected for the next four years," he said, adding that there is "an enormous challenge for this country, where agriculture plays an important role as a second way after mining".

The Pro Rector stressed that our University, inserted in a agrifood and forestry region, could not be oblivious from gathering the different presidential candidates to present their proposals in relation to this sector, in which "we have had a country vision for the last 25 or 27 years".

The panelists also valued the opportunity that our Academic Institution gave them to expose the ideas of their candidates. Nataly Rojas, aspiring candidate for district 17 and representative of Beatriz Sánchez, highlighted the country's vulnerability to climate change and indicated that that constitutes one of the challenges for agriculture. "It is one of the transversal issues around which all actors should be dialoguing. We are proposing a climate change act to relieve the measures to be taken,'' she said.

Antonio Walker, president of Fruseptima, spoke on behalf of the Sebastián Piñera Committee and emphasized that one of the coincidences is wanting to transform agriculture into a State issue and that Chile becomes a food power. "There have been a number of ideas, budgets and different formulas to move from slogans to facts," he said.

In his turn, Arturo Barrera, representative of the candidate from the Christian Democracy, Carolina Goic, who was deputy secretary of Agriculture in the government of Ricardo Lagos, said: "What we have here is a debate with a view, thinking about what is going to be the next government, but also looking agriculture over the next 25 or 30 years. We believe that the main challenge is climate change, to put the institutions at the height of the demands of the agricultural development and, above all, truly modernizing small agriculture".

Sociologist Ivan Nazif, general manager of Cotrisa, intervened on behalf of the Alejandro Guillier Committee, from The New Majority. He Raised, among other ideas, the need to articulate the diversity of the export offer and of the domestic market supply, and one of the specific measures outlined is the generation of an agriculture code, similar to the mining one.
To the president of the Central Agricultural Association, Fernando Medina, who also appreciate the coincidences in the proposals, "Four years is too little and I think that what we have to do is a national agreement to transform to Chile in an agri-food power".