SATELLITE PLATFORM WILL IMPROVE WATER USE IN AGRICULTURE
CITRA SHOWED ITS TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS WITH A VIEW TO ENHANCING THE AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITY IN THE MAULE REGION.
July 07, 2017
The agro sector is the main engine of the economy in the Maule Region and it contributes directly with 11%, and indirectly with 31%, of the regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, despite showing growth, the water deficit in the Region is presented as a threat to the financial stability of farm producers, who contribute about 28% of the labor force in the Region.
Before this background, our University, through the Center for Research and Transfer in Irrigation and Agroclimatology (Citra), attached to the Department of Agricultural Sciences, brought together farmers at the Linares Campus and offered an international seminar entitled "Application of Satellite and Meteorological Information for the Management of Water Resources in Agriculture", with the aim of informing on the progress of this project which seeks to determine the water balance in the Ancoa dam area of influence, therefore, improving the use of the vital liquid for the crops.
The activity was attended by José María Tarjuelo, Director of the Regional Center for Water Studies from the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, in Spain. It was also attended by the director of the Citra, Samuel Ortega, who spoke about the studies undertaken from the Academia in order to improve the utilization of water for irrigation.
The international guest recounted the experience of Spain in the planning and management of water for irrigation, where he explained such aspects as: promoting the use of new information technologies and remote control for irrigation, increase research at plot level, review of administrative concessions and giving training to the farmers.
"The increase in the oscillations of water availability for agriculture, where there are periods of torrential rains, but also of drought, obliges us to be prepared on adequate information systems for the farmer to confront drought situations. It is therefore essential to the modernization of irrigation systems for the better use of water, like the pressurization and spraying methods."
For his part, Ortega explained that "this Technology Transfer Program is focused on the small producers through a satellite platform to determine the supply and demand to improve agricultural productivity."
With this project, developed by the University, water savings of between 20% and 40% are generated, in addition to a 15% higher irrigation yield.
The Governor of the Province of Linares, Pedro Fernandez, welcomed the invitation of our Academic Institution. He recalled that "Israeli researchers concluded that the problem in Chile is not the drought, but that we do not know how to use the water. Therefore, I appreciate the interest of the university in generating contributions to enhance the agricultural activity of the Country."
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