The pillars of these five initiatives are empowering small farmers and stockbreeders, and forest SMEs, and develop health research.

From the 23 projects awarded at the regional level by the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness -FIC- of the Bio Bio Regional Government for the year 2015, the Universidad de Concepcion led the list of institutions with 10 projects in the form of public goods, strengthening centers and universities. These funds were approved by the Regional Government Council providing $787.365 millions as a funding resource.

To present some of these initiatives, the launching of these five projects will be held on April 7 at 10:00 am. in the Auditorium Jaime Baeza at EmpreUdeC, among which the work of small farmers, stockbreeders and forest SMEs in the region, and the development of health research are expected to be promoted.

Among the projects awarded by our University, the “Transfer and valuation of poultry and pig solid waste” project by Dr. Cristina Segura of the Technological Development Unit, UdeC -UDT- can be noted. This project seeks to solve the problem affecting medium-sized businesses of poultry and pig farms in the region around the disposal of guano produced by their animals, as it generates a high cost in production and affects nearby communities.

As a solution, Dr. Segura proposes its safely carbonization, or pyrolysis, which is positive for profitability and environmental protection. The main product that is generated in this process is a solid known as biochar, plus a combustible mixture of condensable and noncondensable gases. This product has been tested as an intensive farming soil fixer, but there is lack of knowledge on the part of cattle ranchers in the region and lack of qualified personnel to evaluate this business alternative with a technological component.

In view of the above, the initiative of Dr. Segura seeks to reduce those levels of uncertainty and develop technical bases to implement modular pyrolysis plants, and also, conduct an economic study to evaluate its feasibility and marketing as agricultural input.

Another project awarded is led by Dr. David González of the Faculty of Forest Sciences UdeC, which promotes an irrigation guide to enhance crop of small and medium farmers, all around good management of resources through satellite images.

The project called “Transfer using MODIS satellite to estimate irrigation water” aims to reduce errors in the information generated by canal associations and the General Water Authority.

These satellite images will provide explicit and high frequency data to determine the state of snow cover in the Andean basins, which can be monitored during the year because access is difficult. Through this MODIS platform, real-time spatial information will be obtained from the surface covered with snow in the upper basins of the region, and will be entered into a hydrological model in order to model and predict the daily average flow in the Andean rivers of the region, for example, Biobio, Ñuble and Laja rivers.

The generated results will be at the level of micro-basins and public, to develop a new, accurate and technological methodology, and with less costs in monitoring snow basins of the region in the future.

These initiatives will have a real contribution to our region, because according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, it is the one with the greatest number of small farmers in the country.

Source: Faculty of Forest Sciences Universidad de Concepción