Climate change represents one of the greatest threats to agriculture worldwide, and Chile is no exception. The country is facing increasingly extreme weather conditions, with more frequent, unpredictable and intense frosts and heat waves than in the last 50 years. To achieve sustainable and resilient agriculture in this context, it is necessary to adopt innovative strategies that optimize water use and protect crops. Below we analyze some of the challenges facing Chilean agriculture and the solutions based on new technologies and sustainable practices, supported by scientific research recognized worldwide.
Chilean agriculture is diverse and covers different regions, each with its own climatic particularities. However, they are all affected by climate change in similar ways. Late and early frosts, intense droughts and erratic rains are damaging crops and threatening the country's food security. According to experts, extreme weather events are increasing. In Chile in particular, spring frosts are becoming more frequent and devastating to low-temperature sensitive crops.
Water is a vital resource in agriculture and its responsible use is essential to address water scarcity, another relevant issue for the country. The implementation of efficient irrigation systems and the adoption of water conservation practices are crucial to improve agricultural sustainability. In the words of Felipe Cáceres, Hydraulic Engineer at Pontificia Universidad Católica, "irrigated agriculture represents a large part of water consumption in Chile. The application of drip irrigation techniques, which integrate current scientific and technological innovations, can significantly enhance the efficiency of use, providing sustainability and adaptability to our agricultural processes, thus creating an example for the rest of the world".
To cope with increasingly frequent frosts, innovative approaches are required. One option is the use of weather monitoring and forecasting technologies to anticipate frost and take preventive measures. The installation of weather stations and the use of forecasting models can provide valuable information to farmers about the onset of frost. This allows the timely application of protection techniques, such as irrigating crops with low precipitation emitters prior to the event, thus protecting crops and water use.
Investment in research and development will enable the creation of crop varieties that are more resistant to cold and drought, as well as the design of more efficient and environmentally friendly technologies. Precision agriculture, through the use of sensors and software, can also optimize crop management and reduce water and energy consumption.
In conclusion, climate change represents a significant challenge for Chilean agriculture, but it also opens up opportunities for innovation and the adoption of more sustainable practices. The combination of new technologies, such as Tierraverde's climate control systems and the use of climate forecasts, together with the development of more resilient crop varieties, can help protect our natural resources and secure agricultural production in the country. The engagement of international scientists is key to supporting these solutions and ensuring a more secure and sustainable future for Chilean agriculture.