crop rescue

There are several food products with the potential to be produced again in the territory, thanks to its edaphoclimatic peculiarities.

Quinoa is called a superfood, with a high tolerance to water stress in rainfed areas. The INIA Base Seed Bank in Vicuña has a collection of 203 accessions of quinoa from all over Chile. The ancestral cultivation of quinoa in the Coquimbo Region dates back to at least 400 years ago. (CEAZA)

The papaya grown in the Coquimbo Region is native. In Chile, 220 hectares are cultivated, of which 70% are in the Region, and 50% in the La Serena Commune (FIA). It is characterized by its presence of vitamin A, C, lycopene, fiber, digestive and healing properties. Its consumption is associated with pulps, juices, preserves and sweets.

The copao is a native cactus species of the Coquimbo Region, with potential as fresh or processed fruit (juices, liqueurs, pastries). A production capacity of 7,500 tons is estimated during the summer period in an area of 430,000 hectares (FIA). It is recognized as the superfood of the desert, with the same amount of potassium as a banana and hydration as a coconut, with great anti-inflammatory power and high content of Vitamin C.

Figs are recognized as delicatessen foods as preserves or as an accompaniment to bread, which provide energy, minerals and fiber, to the point of being suggested by the FAO for consumption, in addition to their contribution to cholesterol control and the presence of Omega 3 and 6.

Peas contain approximately 78% water, with 5% to 6% protein and 15% to 20% starch, with a good contribution of dietary fiber, 5-6% (USDA, 2016), adaptable to areas with hydric stress.


Fruit and Vegetable Production:

    • It is part of the only transitional territory between the driest desert in the world and the only Mediterranean biome in South America.
    • It is the only territory with a semi-cold Mediterranean climate in the southern hemisphere, offering a highly differentiated environment.
    • It has the largest number of microclimates within the Mediterranean biome of the continent (8 microclimates according to Koppen classification)
    • The high radiation present in the territory allows the products to have higher nutritional levels, arising as a natural protection against this condition.
    • It exported US $ 557.2 MM FOB, of which 86% correspond to fresh fruit (US $ 483 MM FOB), the fourth highest in the country.
    • It has 3.2 million hectares of forestry use, of which 231,831 are planted areas.
    • Varieties with the largest planted area.


    Green Vegetables

    Territorial profile support: 

    See productive profile of the region (ODEPA, 2018):  Click here

    See Agenda for Territorial Agrarian Innovation in the Coquimbo Region (FIA, 2017):  Click here

Horticultural Industry

The Coquimbo Region is the only Mediterranean biome territory in South America, which is against the season of the large Mediterranean food production centers in Europe, offering highly differentiated Mediterranean food supplies in periods of international scarcity.

The Coquimbo region exported US $ 557.2 million FOB in 2018, of which 3.3% were processed fruits (US $ 18.5 million FOB) and 1.5% wines and alcohols (US $ 8.3 million FOB).

The olive oil production in Chile reached 22,000 tons (ChileOliva). It is estimated that the Coquimbo Region produces 17% of the national total, the 4th highest (CIREN, ODEPA, 2018). The regional cultivated area of olive trees grew from 3,719.5 Ha in 2015 to 3,904 Ha in 2018 (ODEPA). Studies show that the oleic acid in olive oil produced in the territory is between 78% and 80%, higher than the regional standard, which is 75% (Seremi Agriculture).

63.5 MM liters of wines with Denomination of Origin (ODEPA) are produced in the region. At the level of cultivation, the Syrah variety stands out in the reds (520 Ha) and the Chardonnay in the white wines (732.5 Ha).

The region concentrates 95% of the pisco vine surface, fundamental for the pisco industry. Thus, the territory is home to the oldest active pisco in Chile (Fundo Los Nichos), and the largest Pisco Cooperative in the country (CAPEL, with +1000 members). The region has the Ruta del Pisco (Pisco route) as one of its main attractions.

Considering the levels of fruit and vegetable production and heritage rescue products, the Coquimbo Region has the capacity to host industries for the productive sophistication of highly differentiated foods.

Regenerative Goat Livestock

  • The Coquimbo Region concentrates the largest number of goat cattle in Chile, registered at 310,916, equivalent to 69.5% of the national total (ODEPA, 2018).
  • 50% of them are located in the Province of Limarí, 28.2% in the Province of Choapa and 21.6% in the Province of Elqui.
  • The goat tradition has passed through several generations, still preserving transhumance cultures, highly valued by contemporary tourism.
  • The potential for goat rearing and derived feed production can be accelerated with the incorporation of regenerative grassland technologies, efficient water management, hydroponic green forage, and collection and processing centers.
  • The market for dairy products made from goat is on the rise, due to the nutritional benefits it brings and the growing intolerance of consumers to cow’s milk.

Mediterranean foods of marine origin

  • The coasts of Chile are privileged to be the first to receive the nutrients from the millennial Antarctic seabed due to the effect of the Humboldt Current and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Thanks to this, Chile is the fifth country with the largest extension of Marine Protected Areas. In this regard, the Coquimbo Region has the largest marine reserve in Chile (Isla Choros and Isla Damas with 38.6km2) (SERNAPESCA).
  • The temperatures of the sea waters of the Coquimbo Region are between 5-10 ° C colder than the world average (18 ° C), with a relative higher oxygen content (5ml / L) and a salinity level between 32- 34% (34.5 ppm), lower than the world average 33-37%. This conjunction offers balanced marine environments that favor the biodiversity of the marine ecosystem and preferential environments for the growth of species.
  • This is expressed in having marine species with higher levels of Omega 3, fat-soluble vitamins and algae species with higher levels of beta-carotene.
  • The waters off the coast of the Coquimbo Region are characterized by being slightly uneven, almost straight (with few shelters), high, open and calm, allowing optimal conditions for the sustainable production of seafood.
  • The Coquimbo Region, compared to the rest of Chile:
  • It is the first region in landings of huiro palo, lechuguilla, rasp tuna, cabinza, jerguilla, sunfish, toothy mako, blond snail, tegula snail, chocha, macha, northern oyster and Pacific oyster.
  • It is the second region in landings of chasca, haematococcus, pelillo, albacore, chauchera tuna, big-eyed tuna, bluebird, red eel, machuelo, Spanish sardine, porbeagle shark, queen limpet, loco, pachona crab, and yellow prawns.
  • It is the third region in landings of huiro, black huiro, black conger, palometa, red abalone, cuttlefish (red squid), black limpet, nylon shrimp, red shrimp.

Revaluation of waste from the marine bioproducts industry

In the Region, +14,000 TONs are generated per year of residual biomass from certified plants, with the potential to add value as a functional ingredient, specialized additive and even a food supplement.

Algae: 1,886 TON – Carotenoids and pigments, input for hygiene and personal care products, home care, bio inputs such as fertilizers.

Mollusks: 7,884 TON – biofertilizer inputs, supplements for animal feed.

Crustaceans: 3,442 TON – To obtain chitin, chitosan, and extracts and aromas of crustaceans.

Fish: 1,067 TON – Fatty acids (Omega 3, EPA / DHA), enzymes, calcium, collagen.

The management area and value chain of the demersal crustacean fisheries of the Coquimbo Region (nylon shrimp, yellow shrimp and red shrimp) is certified for its sustainability with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification, the most prestigious in wild fishing worldwide.

Technological services specialized in agri-food

Agriculture is one of the pillars of the regional development of Coquimbo. However, agriculture is migrating to be a technology-based industry, which is mobilizing resources from specialized investment funds towards two new areas of innovation in the development of services: agriculture and food technology. Some of these new areas of innovation in specialized services are:

Smart farms – Precision agriculture – Agricultural systems and machinery – Vertical agriculture – Crop efficiency technologies – Satellites and drones – Internet of things – Agroindustrial technological sophistication – Waste revaluation – Cloud management technologies – Traceability and transparency (Blockchain ) – Smart logistics & E-commerce.