In an interview with ChileCarne, the new Minister of Agriculture, María Emilia Undurraga, who took office during the first days of January, explains the challenges she set for her mandate, the ones related to the food industry, and in particular with white meats for 2021.
According to the new Minister of Agriculture, María Emilia Undurraga, the main goal must be ensuring that the food chain keeps functioning during the pandemic, and that farmers can continue to work with the safety measures they operated with in 2020. In other words, continuing the work the ministry has been doing over the last three years.
“In addition, we want our efforts to continue to stand out for our focus on rural development. For us, it is important for the social situation and development of rural sectors to become increasingly more in line with that of cities, so as to move towards sustained development for all the country’s inhabitants,” she said.
In 2021, “the challenges will be focused on rural development, sustainability, water and climate change, food security, partnerships, and modernization and innovation,” she pointed out.
“It is important to note that among the pressing challenges for rural areas that we are tackling with the private sector and the civil society are issues regarding rural women, connectivity and basic utilities, decentralization, and indigenous peoples,” the official underlined.
“Therefore, the driving force of our mandate will be boosting the role of rural territories, the agricultural and forestry industry, as well as food production for all Chileans, so we can build a more just, sustainable, and inclusive country,” she added.
This year, the Ministry of Agriculture will keep coordinating joint actions with other State agencies and the private sector to keep fostering the food sector growth, including white meat. The ministry anticipates that Covid-19 will continue to be a key factor to consider. This is in addition to the potential recovery of production in China, meaning that those countries better prepared will get the best results in a potential new scenario where supply and demand will be more balanced.
According to Minister Undurraga, “because of this, updating trade agreements to obtain better access conditions for our products in destination markets, as well as preserving health conditions to offer quality products, will be the key factors that will allow our industry to keep growing.”
Another key issue she highlighted is that the Ministry of Agriculture will keep supporting the white meat sector to meet international demands related to environmental challenges.