Smallholder farmers from Chile get training in greenhouse management at CMPC’s Carlos Douglas Workshop

The training was geared toward farmers from Cabrero, Yumbel, Los Ángeles, Lumaco, Collipulli, Mulchén, Santa Juana and Angol, all districts in Chile. They had received new greenhouses as part of the local Economic Reactivation Program.

The training session called “Management of greenhouses for agroforestry production” was held with the goal of addressing how to run greenhouses for agroforestry production and for attendees to learn more about plant production. The workshop was aimed at smallholding farmers, recipients of greenhouses under the framework of CMPC’s Economic Reactivation Program.

The workshop took place at CMPC’s Carlos Douglas Nursery located in Cabrero, Biobío Region, Chile. Cristián Mundaca, a forestry engineer with the Genetics and Biotechnology Office, led the course. He spoke about the importance of greenhouses and how key the location, orientation, design and maintenance are for their correct functioning in addition to the relevance of environmental variables like temperature, humidity and light. 

“In the training we got to learn how to make, maintain and take care of a seedling and raised beds for crops. We reviewed the antagonism list for crops, mainly vegetables. We also looked at plant morphology to better understand the main parts including the leaves, stems, and roots as well as the proper care-taking to ensure proper crop development. Then we talked about the importance of irrigation and nutrition aspects such as irrigation criteria, field capacity, and any consistent weak spots, then closed with phytosanitary management,” explained Cristián Mundaca.

He said, “We met in the Federico Albert Hall for the theoretical part and then we moved to the facilities of the Department of Genetics at the Carlos Douglas Nursery, where we looked at our propagation systems, both by seed and grafting. It was a very interesting activity and also very enriching, as we were able to bring the community closer to these issues. They got to learn about sustainability and better understand it.”  

Learning by doing

Dionisia Ramos, a local farmer who participated in the initiative said that the training “was very interactive, very well explained and everything was quite detailed. I had never attended a training like this. It was new to me, which I appreciate a great deal because what you learn here you can go on to replicate as you wish. The people in charge of this workshop taught us a lot. They can change your perspective on life. We got to meet the people who work on greenhouse creation, which is lovely. I hope events like this one that help out smallholding farmers will be repeated many times over.”