Farmers in Bajo Soga Receive Tractors and Other Agricultural Equipment

Farmers in Bajo Soga Receive Tractors and Other Agricultural Equipment


The donation is part of the commitments acquired through the working group that SQM coordinates with nine groups in the sector.

The ceremony to hand over the agricultural machinery and equipment to the groups living in the Bajo Soga sector (district of Huara) was kicked off with a traditional Pawa, an Aymara rite to pay tribute to the land. This milestone is part of the working group that SQM has been participating in for over a year with nine agricultural groups in the sector where its Orcoma iodine and nitrate-rich salts project is being developed.

The event was led by the mayor of Huara, José Bartolo; the Director of Communities and Public Affairs for SQM’s Nitrates and Iodine businesses, Pablo Pisani; the interim regional director of Conaf Tarapacá, Jorge Valenzuela; and representatives of Bajo Soga’s farming groups and associations.

The donation included two 95 HP tractors, two rotary tillers, two disk plows, two trailers and a sprayer. This machinery and equipment will optimize the process of plowing the land, among other activities.

“We have been coordinating this working group for more than a year, and have been able to agree on several ideas. The machinery was fundamental for the local farmers’ development. This donation will solve an important problem involving expanding these lands, since the area requires this type of equipment,” commented Mauricio Araya, president of the Valle del Algarrobal neighbors’ association.

Meanwhile, SQM executive Pablo Pisani commented: “Today we are celebrating, sharing and experiencing the agricultural work being done by the Bajo Soga groups. There are 96 families that make up the nine organizations that are part of the working group. This donation is a concrete outcome of joint work, collaboration and the importance of defining work plans to be carried out. The group is seen as an opportunity for ongoing dialogue and has become a serious and solid initiative over time. During 2023 we will continue to focus on farming and try to enhance the town’s value through various projects.”

On the importance of multisectoral work to achieve these initiatives, the mayor of Huara, José Bartolo, noted that “every day these families work the land in this area, which is very hard work. I am very happy for them, and especially because today we are delivering these tractors and equipment with the private sector represented by SQM. As a municipality, we hope to continue working in the same way to keep benefiting our residents.”

This assistance is in addition to a previous donation of 24 tons of feed, another community reinforcement initiative defined by the working group.

“We are farmers, many of which are starting out with our own resources, but today we are already seeing the fruits of this joint work and we hope that it will continue next year,” said Leonel Carvajal, president of Zapiga Sumanpara.

During the ceremony to hand over the farming equipment, local farmers exhibited the produce they harvest in Pampa del Tamarugal, including melons, watermelons, carrots, peppers, and various leafy vegetables.