According to export forecasts delivered to the Kiwi Committee, the losses suffered in Kiwi volumes due to the September frosts affected almost 60% of the fruit, so the export figures for 2014 are estimated at around 86 thousand tons, compared to more than 216 thousand tons exported in 2013. The Chilean Kiwi Committee is now monitoring the farms affected by the frosts. The aim is to generate technical information to be able to formulate recommendations against potential weather events such as those experienced this spring and to ensure wood for the next season.
This task forms part of the project: “Development of a Systematic Model of Response Actions to Frosts, Based on Productive Management Alternatives in Kiwis”, financed by the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation. The project seeks to establish a model for systematisation of actions taken in response to frosts, based on production management alternatives to recover fields and orchards and regain production capacity. To this end, the project scrutinises fields and orchards with different levels of frost damage, some of them coinciding with the follow-up fields that the Kiwi Committee has been monitoring since last year. The different levels of damage caused by the intense frosts have changed the typical phenology of the plants, making it especially necessary to reconsider the tasks of handling the vegetation. The 12-month project was started up in October 2013. Activities to be carried out will include an assessment of the outcomes of all the actions taken.
The proposal, as described by Elizabeth Köhler, the Kiwi Committee’s General Coordinator, is to follow up the normal development of the crop and its ripeness parameters, to gather background information on the crops, in addition to the behaviour of orchards with different levels of frost damage. A total of eight orchards are currently being monitored. One is located in the Metropolitan Region (Aculeo), two in the Sixth Region (Peumo and Tinguiririca) and four in the Seventh Region (Curicó, Rauco, Lontué and Linares).