martes, 4 de noviembre de 2014

Vegetables from the field to the table

ACHIPA alongside the State of the sixth Region for the integration of BPA to small time farmers.

A table of multidisciplinary work in the sixth Region (second largest producer of vegetables in Chile), aims to have products harvested by the small fields which are so clean that they could be consumed immediately, as it happens with vegetables sold in supermarkets, leaving behind dirty vegetables with insects; and allowing markets to have vegetables of the highest quality.

More than 2 years ago studies showed that there are three big problems in small farmers in the region.

1. Contamination of food by mishandling of consumers.
2. Failure in the application of pesticides.
3. High risk by use of contaminated irrigation water.

In the first case, it was discovered that 75% of food-borne diseases occur by inexpert handling, both in restaurants and at home. For this reason, the Ministry of health conducted a campaign on how to wash your hands to prevent a cross-contamination between foods.

In the second case, Chile has a regulation for the internal market, but there is no supervision or control;. Nowadays, only INDAP gives some theoretical framework for good agricultural practices. So, many small time farmers outside of INDAP use products that are not designed for vegetables, furthermore applying larger doses than recommended. Most of the time, this occurs before the sale takes place.

In the third point the Cachapoal and Tinguiririca rivers have been contaminated by human waste. As a result, SEREMI of environment assigned work groups in charge of the water quality, who analyze the quality of the water in the rivers; which are complemented by programs to make the community aware of the damage that pollution does. This has currently led to the loss of many acres of harvest, due to the pollution of these areas by contaminated waters. In addition, SEREMI applies fines to those who use contaminated water to irrigate ground level vegetables.

Summing up, ACHIPA hopes that Chilean vegetables products to be safe, so that one can have these products directly from the field to the table. Allowing people, in the not too distant future, to prefer the quality of the product before the value.

So, if we take on the responsibility across the country with these initiatives in the primary production, one can dream that the quality of our raw materials are at the level with demanding international regulations at every level of production.

News provided by: Ignacio Núñez

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