Agriculture in Crisis: The Aftermath of Chile’s Heavy Rains

At the end of August, Chile’s government declared a state of calamity as catastrophic rains lashed out at remote settlements, leaving at least three people dead.

President Gabriel Boric’s administration declared an agricultural emergency last week affecting 100 communities, and it approved $8.3 million to restore irrigation infrastructure, canal systems, and other support programs for farmers who requested greater assistance.

Per Reuters report, authorities and the agricultural sector in Chile have estimated that heavy rains in the central south farming region may have resulted in losses of at least $1 billion.

After meeting with Chilean Agriculture Minister Esteban Valenzuela, National Agricultural Society (SNA) President Antonio Walker stated at a press conference that Damage is done to small, medium, and large farmers, producers who feed the local market, as well as a significant number of orchards that are planted specifically for export.

In addition to losses of fruit and vegetable crops and animal feed, there were damages to irrigation systems and riverfront areas.

A significant amount of Chile’s total exports are made up of agricultural products, which are a major export for the nation. Chile is a major exporter of copper in addition to being a significant supplier of fresh fruit and nut products, pulp, wine, and wood.

One of the biggest producers of fresh fruit exports worldwide is Chile. Its fruit sector advantages from production that is contrary to the Northern Hemisphere’s seasons, enabling year-round availability of a variety of fruits.

Chile is well known for producing wine, and its wines are exported all over the world. The nation is renowned for its top-notch wines, especially those from areas like the Colchagua Valley and Maipo Valley.

according to International Trade Administration, In 2021, the agriculture and related industries contributed 9.% of Chile’s total GDP ($24.2 billion), 24.44% of the country’s total exports ($21.9 billion), and almost 10% of the country’s labor force.

Before the start of the southern spring in September, when some crops are watered, Anotnio Walker stated that immediate action was required.

Additionally, farmers are now concerned that the El Nio weather phenomenon, which has brought torrential rains to central Chile after years of water scarcity, could lead to even more instability in the upcoming spring months.


Ramos, Natalia., & Pulice, Carolina. 2023. Chile heavy rains likely caused over $1 bln in agriculture losses. Retrieved from

International Trade Administration. 2022. Chile – Country Commercial Guide – Agriculture Sector. Retrieved from’s%20main%20agricultural%20exports%20include,percent%20of%20Chile’s%20labor%20force.