By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
The Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) of Chile has opened the Insectarium of Massive Production of Beneficial Insects in the Arica and Parinacota region. The insectarium is located 15 kilometers from the Lluta Valley, next to the Sterile Insect Production Center (CPIE) of the Service, and aims to collect beneficial insects and assist in sustainably combating pests of economic importance for the region.
“Biological control is a management tool that allows the population of insects that are plagues to be in balance. The implementation of this system necessarily implies the massive use of control agents, for which a rapid and economic multiplication is necessary,” according to SAG.
At present, in the northern macro zone there are difficulties in the implementation of a system of biological controllers of economic impact pests, since there is no public or private entity that supplies local beneficial insects, especially for vegetables. There are, meanwhile, numerous research papers that have been written on biological control.
In this regard, the Regional Director of SAG, Jorge Hernández, noted that “This insectarium is key to the clean and sustainable development of agriculture in the region. It is important to deliver the necessary tools to our farmers, such as knowledge in pest management through the release of beneficial insects - in this case local - and highlight the leadership that SAG has in this region, in terms of technological innovation for fighting pests with insects, along the path of environmental sustainability”.
Further, the Seremi of Agriculture, Jorge Heiden, said, "It is with real pride for our ministry to be managers of this project, the only one in the northern macrozone that will provide sustainable support for many farmers in the region. This milestone goes hand in hand with COP 25, a challenge this year taken up by President Sebastián Piñera."
The initiative, which will benefit many farmers from its different valleys, is an innovative tool that was funded by the National Regional Development Fund (FNDR). It was approved by a majority through the Chilean Regional Council, with total funding reaching 192 million pesos.