Cristián Allendes is an innovative and experienced farmer with a life-long vision to “produce more with less”. His fields are located in a privileged area of central Chile, with a Mediterranean climate and fertile soils that allow for the harvest of tasty and quality fruits. He is recognized in the area as a leader in the implementation of modern agricultural techniques, with a strong commitment to the environment and his workers.
Part of the success of the Santa Inés farm is due to its distinctive design of high-density planting. Cristián Allendes knows that one of the future’s great challenges will be to feed the growing population with less arable land, and this method adapts to that reality. The system allows for between 2.5 and 4 times more plants per hectare than in a traditional orchard and achieves production quickly. Good fertilization is also a critical part of improving productivity and reducing the use of natural resources. To help accomplish this, a drip irrigation system has been incorporated on the farm, which controls and distributes the necessary amount of fertilizers, avoiding the contamination of surface waters. A weather station on the farm allows Allendes to monitor temperature, humidity and wind speed (among other factors) in real-time, and thus collect climate data to make timely decisions on the use of crop protection products – help ensure crops are protected in a way that is safe for people and the environment. Farm workers participate regularly in training to improve standards in handling and safe use of products and machinery.
Location: Calera de Tango, near Santiago, Chile
History: Agrícola La Hornilla Ltda. was established in 1986 in Melipilla and grew to include Fundo Santa Inés in 2012. Today, Cristián manages the fields with his children, Cristián Jr. and Benjamín.
Crops: Table grapes, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines and sunflowers