Agricultural trade associations and CMPC signed an agreement to help more than one thousand smallholding farmers affected by forest fires.
The CMPC Company and agricultural trade associations in southern Chile -such as Socabio, Sofo and the Association of Farmers of Malleco- have sealed a deal for the delivery of fodder, seeds and fertilizers to more than 1,000 families in southern Chile in order to better handle the upcoming winter season.
The signing of the agreement aims to deliver aid to smallholding farmer families who are going through very difficult times with the rural fires that have recently taken place. These include donations of agricultural inputs, bales of wheat and/or alfalfa, concentrates and other contributions. “We hope that this aid will provide some relief during these difficult times that many families are undergoing in the field,” said Ignacio Lira, CMPC Manager of Corporate Affairs Forests.
Lira emphasizes that, “This accord is a very important alliance. As a CMPC company, we are meeting with our friends and neighbors in the rural world, Consorcio Agrícola del Sur (CAS, Southern Agriculture Consortium) and with the Asociación de Agricultores de Malleco (Association of Farmers of Malleco), to aid more than 1,000 affected families in Malleco and the areas of Biobío that have been affected most.”
Along with carrying out the respective damage surveys of the most affected areas and families, they have already begun distributing first aid. “We started by delivering aid in Biobío. Yesterday we delivered a sizeable batch of bales to the Los Angeles area as well as to the Quilleco district. Right now we are still delivering fodder in Nacimiento, and we hope to start next week in Araucanía, mainly in the province of Malleco,” said José Miguel Stegmeier, President of the Consorcio Agrícola del Sur.
Consortium president explained how the work is jointly carried out. The CMPC Company is helping support the impacted smallholding farmer families, with the agricultural unions gathering the contributions. “What we are doing with the farmers further to the south is obtaining resources to get more bales and food for the animals of the affected areas. We are putting together a set of activities with the trade associations and CMPC to get enough fodder for the smallholding farmers.”
Executive Secretary of SofoAndreas Kobrich explains that, although farmers in general are going through difficult times, attending to the emergencies on their farms and in the middle of harvest time, they want to come to the aid of those who have lost everything. “This is a very good exercise of the private sector working together, of how we are going to complement each other to be able to come to the aid of people in need while they undergo very significant adverse events.”
President of the Asociación de Agricultores Malleco Sebastian Naveillan emphasizes that, “We appreciate this accord with CMPC, and we believe that it’s the best way to work with the private sector operating in the area, the ones in the province. CMPC will collect the damage survey information of the families, and as a trade association we will contribute with grains and flour to go to the aid of 1,000 affected families. The private sector working together to help the victims is very good news.”
Lastly, CMPC Manager of Forestry Corporate Affairs has called to reduce this critical situation facing the different regions affected by forest fires. “It is important that we all take on a very responsible and proactive attitude in terms of preventing the occurrence of any new fires. The situation is still very critical. If we add to this the high number of intentional fires, we are dealing with a rather complex scenario. We are calling on all citizens to behave responsibly, and we are asking the authorities to request a greater military and police presence in the areas where a high number of fires are occurring in order to get control of this emergency.