CITRA CELEBRATED ITS 20 YEARS WITH SEMINAR AND TECHNOLOGY FAIR
THE IRRIGATION AND AGROCLIMATOLOGY RESEARCH AND TRANSFER CENTER COMMEMORATED THIS ANNIVERSARY WITH UNIVERSITY AUTHORITIES, STUDENTS AND BUSINESSES.
October 6, 2017
"Technological Advances to Adapt Agriculture to Climate Change: Twenty Years Contributing to the Scientific-Technological Development of Chile" was the name of the seminar which began the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of CITRA, a unit that has managed to become an important actor in national agriculture, with the development of research and technological transfer activities.
The celebrations included also a Technology Fair next to the Espacio Bicentenario building of the Talca Campus, where the activity took place. There, the participants were able to observe and learn about the technologies that this center offers, such as: precision farming, drones and sensing, Eddy Covariance and Surface Renewal systems, research on soil moisture and remote perception.
Samuel Ortega, Director of Citra, highlighted the work achieved in these 20 years. "CITRA has been using science and technology to transfer what has been achieved into the productive area. Through the years we have developed a comprehensive system for water management, which is the result of research and which translates into a practical application to the productive sector. As we have said, this system achieves close to 40% in water savings in agriculture, which allows to make a sustainable management of water resources", he said.
On the other hand, along with the significant percentage of water savings, the Center has contributed to an increase in the quality of fruit from 8% to 15%, and the reduction of pumping costs of water between 25% to 40%. On the other hand, the contribution to the formation of human capital has resulted in 134 undergraduate, 38 graduate and 6 post-doctoral theses. In addition, during its existence it has offered 25 master’s degree scholarships.
Camillo Scocco, speaker at the seminar and general manager of Agrichile, a company associated with Citra, stressed that "for us as in Agrichile it is very important to participate in these meetings, since they contribute to the development of the agricultural sector in the region, both for the information that is exposed as for the contribution that we can make as a company to the training of professionals in related areas, which is very important for the development of the industry. In addition, we believe that the link with Academia, the local community and the productive sectors is key to this goal."
For Samuel Ortega, they come with new challenges linked to the climate change scenarios. "We see with great perspective the future of the Center, with great opportunities because of the climate change. So, in research we strongly project ourselves in the implementation of satellite technology to model and develop techniques that allow us to assess the crop water stress. In addition, we want to couple the satellite technology with the drones, in such a way as to use both technologies for water efficiency."
"We hope that the comprehensive system for water management can be applied by more farmers, with the possibility of exporting the system to Peru due to the high demand and the conversations that we have with them," he concluded.
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