Melipilla, Chile

Agrícola Cinco Valles


An Emerging Cooperative Embracing Modern Agriculture

Agrícola Cinco Valles is an association of 114 smallholder farmers in Chile. In the past years, the country has been affected by climate change more and more. Due to longer dry periods and less rainfalls, farmers are dependent on new solutions to produce high quality crops with less water. The cooperative embraces the opportunity to access digital farming tools and innovative agricultural technologies to farm more sustainably. Modern farming practices also open new markets to smallholder farmers, enabling them to sell their produce at a higher price and increase family income. Farmer Juan Araus stands out as an innovative and highly entrepreneurial member of the association. His farm is rather fortunately located in Melipilla, an area of central Chile, blessed with a Mediterranean climate and fertile soils that allow him to produce quality vegetables and crops. In Cinco Valles, he is recognized as a leader in implementing modern agricultural techniques, with a strong commitment to the environment on the farm and to the safety of his workers. 

  • Farm name and location: Agrícola Cinco Valles, Popeta, Melipilla, close to Santiago of Chile.
  • History: Juan Araus established his farm in 2015. Now embracing an area of 44 ha, including leased fields, he manages the farm in partnership with some of his brothers. Juan is personally in charge of managing the farm with the help of his administrator, Guillermo Guzmán.
  • Farm size: 44 hectares.
  • Crops: Strawberry, potato, squash, garlic, onion and cereals.
  • Notable partners: Agrícola Cinco Valles, INDAP, CDTEC, Fraunhofer Chile Research.
Now we are incorporating these new technologies and it has given very good results. We have obtained bountiful yields which have never been seen before in any of these areas. I encourage farmers to adapt innovations, it is the only way to move forward.
Juan Araus
Farm Owner

Saving Water With Decision Support Tools

To optimize irrigation, Juan Araus installed a monitoring and irrigation station on his farm. Sensors in the soil and data provided by the mobile weather station provide information that allow him to determine when and how much he should water his plots. The data is updated every 15 minutes and he can access the information directly on his mobile phone.

Thanks to the decision support tool, he can save 20% of the irrigation water used per year, without impact on the quality of fruits. A Phytobac® system enables him to save up to 70% of the water usually needed to rinse and clean spraying equipment and assures that the wastewater is cleaned at the farm. Convinced by the measures Juan Araus already implemented on his farm, he invites interested farmers and students to learn how data can support sustainable farming and generate higher profits for smallholder farmers.

Contact us

We're happy to connect with you! Contact Alan Peter Lüer Barbieri with any questions or inquiries.