Farmers from Pintados Agricultural Colony Strengthen Local Farming
Members of Asociación Juventud del Desierto (Youth Desert Association) received materials and equipment to develop and strengthen local farming in the community, which has demonstrated that it is possible to farm in the desert.
A tractor, 34 thousand cantaloupe and watermelon plants and additional seeds to expand sown areas were just some of the benefits received by the families from the Pintados Agricultural Colony, who make their living farming in the heart of the Tamarugal pampa.
The support, which also included donations of a deep well pump to extract water and twenty-four 25-kilo sacks of fertilizer, was provided by SQM through its Tamarugal Tierra Fértil Program, a program the mining company has sponsored for the past 10 years to assist local farmers.
Pablo Pisani, Director of Communications, Sustainability and Public Affairs at SQM, explained: “As a company, we provide a clear line of support for communities. The recipients this time were the Pintados Colony and Juventud del Desierto, organizations with a strong vocation for farming that we have been supporting for 10 years. They have managed to advance and improve their farming processes throughout this time. In light of their dedication and effort, we want them to continue to make progress. We are supplying them with materials and technical assistance so that the community continues to see the fruits of its work in the short term.”
Ignacia Flores Castro, a farmer and member of Asociación Juventud del Desierto, highlighted that: “I have lived in this community for over 20 years and have always worked in farming, which is why I want to thank SQM for its support. All this help enables us to continue working on our crops and improve our quality of life.”
Pedro Esteban Gómez, a farmer and the secretary of Asociación Juventud del Desierto, expressed his appreciation for the agreement with SQM that will ensure ongoing support for another four years. “This joint work is very positive for the community because farming in the desert is not easy. With the technical assistance and donated materials, farming is strengthened and we can continue this beautiful project,” the farmer concluded.
At the end of the ceremony, the farmers reiterated their commitment to continue to work as a community to expand their fields and to collaborate with SQM to achieve new goals.