The University of Chile, with Dr. Fusa Sudzuki as convener, organized the II International Congress on Cactus pear and Cochineal which was hosted in Santiago in 1992. This special opportunity for hosting the IXth congress, allows us to bring back the congress to Chile, one of the few countries worldwide were cactus pear fruits (“tunas”) are commonly consumed and form part of the traditional diet. Many things have changed during these 24 years: Chile has consolidated as one of the world leaders in the fresh fruit export industry and, regarding cacti, new CAM-crops (eg. “Copao” [Eulychnia acida], pitahaya) are being developed; and the use of Opuntias as a source of fodder and energy has grown in the country.
We here propose to share these new developments with the international Cactus community in the beautiful city of Coquimbo, at the southern margin of the driest desert of the world (Atacama) along the Pacific coast and at the feet of the Andes mountain range. The city is surrounded by valley oases which host a third of the Chilean cactus pear growing area. It shall be our pleasure to welcome you back in Chile.
Centro de Estudios de Zonas Áridas y Depto. de Producción Agrícola. Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas. Universidad de Chile. Santa Rosa 11315, Santiago, Chile.
Departamento de Agroindustria y Enología, Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas. Universidad de Chile. Santa Rosa 11315, Santiago, Chile.