European Plum online training program has started
With more than 60 people registered, the module "Productive Potential and Profitability" began, the first in a trainings sessions framed in the European Plum Extension and Innovation Program, led by UC Davis Chile and Prunova.
This is the beginning of an ambitious project, which seeks to contribute to improving the competitiveness of the national European plum industry, responding to the main production problems, identified by producers and validated and prioritized together with advisors and academics.
In a first stage, this initiative has planned three modules, the first module actually is in progress and the other two, focused on improving the efficiency of irrigation systems and maximizing the use and productivity of water.
Overcoming the current pandemic scenario, which limits face-to-face activities, online content was developed to maintain interest and facilitate understanding through recorded and live sessions, activities, documented extension material and an open forum that allows for the exchange of opinions among the different participants and the experts.
This has allowed participants to review the content flexibly and based on their available time, being able to go deeper into the topics that each one requires within each module.
"Our objective is that both the content delivered and the methodology used in the training will allow the participants to incorporate better practices and make better decisions in the management of their orchards, thus contributing to improve the performance and quality of their production. The challenge we have in the medium term is to achieve significant changes in the sustainable management and productivity of the European plum tree," said Jessica Alvarado, Innovation and Extension Specialist at UC Davis Chile.
Development of the program
The European plum training program, both in its preparation and in its implementation has been based on the best practices of the University of California, UC Cooperative Extension system. This aims to generate value and provide competitiveness in a sustainable way to the industry, working in conjunction with government agencies, individuals and private entities, acting as a bridge between the needs of producers and knowledge, research and academia.
"The path we are traveling with UC Davis Chile, should mark a before and after in the way of doing extension in fruit industry, adding efforts and needs of producers, consultants, academics, exporters and technology providers, inputs and services. We made a great effort in this program, starting now in thinking about the next steps. We are sure that it will be a great contribution for each and every one of us," said Tomás Labbé, private advisor and member of the Prunova team.
This allows the organizers of the training, based on local productive problems, identified academics and advisors from Chile and California, to develop an extension and innovation program aimed at delivering knowledge and reliable information based on science and applicable to the national productive reality. All of this, using methods that overcome barriers to technology adoption and promote innovation.
Regarding his experience, as one of the national specialists of the program, Gabino Reginato, academic of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Chile said, "I think we are addressing the most substantial issues of plum production, which is good, because it brings together in one place that is of interest with high quality information , developed locally and with reliable data, previously had to be investigated through different sources.
For Pablo Campino from Pacific Nut, one of the professionals enrolled in the training, the beginning of the training exceeded his expectations, "it is very well called platform term, it has been easy to use. Regarding the information above, the topics are clear and well addressed, with good focus, good presentations; we have to see how it continues to develop, but I hope it has similar characteristics". He added, "Technology and online learning are here to stay, all these tools are welcome and we must continue to massify them because they are an excellent contribution. I think that this model, definitely, can be replicated in other fruits, personally I would love it to be in nuts and almonds.
For the first module, which is in full development, it has been very important the support of technology, input and service providers (Agromillora, UPL, Syngenta, In-pacta, Aminochem, BASF, FMC, Sumitomo Chemical, Bionativa and C&H), fully trusting in this effort and initiative, to act as a global industry and understanding that the success of the producers is also the success of the whole chain.
Emphasis has been placed on the fact that the companies that accompany this program also make their contribution from the technical point of view, presenting valuable information for the industry, from technological innovation in production systems to technical solutions with a vision of the future (products and services).
The proposal is that more companies continue to join in the following modules and activities.
After the development of the different topics considered in the training, during the last week, specifically on August 26th, there will be a live session where a summary of the contents delivered will be made and emphasis will be placed on reinforcing and clarifying the most relevant points and those that have been most commented on in the platform's forums.
The dates of the following modules are:
August 31st, Efficient Irrigation Systems
September 28, Irrigation Management Strategies