Successful first year of the European Plum Extension and Innovation Program
The European Plum Extension and Innovation Program, led by UC Davis Chile and PRUNOVA, which seeks to increase the productivity and quality of the orchards, successfully completed its first year of implementation.
After a complete work, identifying the main production problems in an online survey, which was answered by more than 100 producers, the problems were validated and prioritized with the program's Technical Committee, made up of academics, producers and advisors. Four online training modules were designed to address these problems, providing knowledge, tools and practices to develop the capacities and improve the decision-making process of producers, advisors and technicians.
The topics of the modules were: Productive potential and profitability, Efficient irrigation systems, Irrigation management strategies and Harvesting and drying. For these, technical sheets were developed, as well as tools to facilitate productive management such as the "pruning calculator", activities and consultation forums where experts could interact.
A total of 114 people participated in the three modules, and attendance at each one averaged 60, as most were part of more than one training. Thus, considering also a series of open webinars held, there were more than 300 people involved in the program during its first year.
They worked on the development of the modules, together with the UC Davis Chile extension team, academics, researchers and advisors from Chile, Argentina and California. However, in addition to the effort made by the organizers and the group of experts, the realization of the online training was possible thanks to the collaboration of 18 supplier companies, managing to articulate different actors to improve the competitiveness of the European plum industry.
But the work does not end this 2020, for 2021 the challenge is to increase and consolidate the network that has been generated with the various actors in the industry and make available more information and knowledge in an online platform that aims to be the "Knowledge Bank" of European plum for the national industry. This, promoting the design and implementation of a data monitoring system to quantify production gaps, evaluate the outcome of the solutions that are implemented and identify the practices associated with the best results. The training program will also be continued, focusing on the development of the capacities of middle management and field supervisors, taking advantage of all the possibilities that open up for any face-to-face activity.
In order to leave with strength in 2021, we already have the first meeting of the European Plum Committee scheduled for January 13.