INIA Las Brujas Experimental Station "Wilson Ferreira Aldunate”
It is located in the department of Canelones (Route 48, Km. 10), close to Montevideo.
Its main objective is to generate technologies to improve market penetration by intensive farm production, seeking a more competitive inclusion of family growers in this process.
There is a double challenge for the station: to develop sustainable technologies which take into account environmental impact studies, so as to minimize that impact; and to attempt the regeneration of degraded natural resources due to continuous non-conservationist agriculture.
INIA Las Brujas is the venue for three National Research Programs: the National Research Program on Fruit Production, the National Research Program on Horticultural Production and the National Research Program on Family Farm Production. It also coordinates the following Technical Units: Biotechnology Unit, Agriculture and Weather and Information Systems Unit, and Communication and Technology Transfer Unit. The heads of research projects in the areas of Bio-Inputs, Animal Genetic Improvement, Intensive Production of Bovine, Ovine and Porcine Meat, Irrigation Management and Organic Agriculture are stationed at INIA Las Brujas. There is also a DNA Bank of animals in agreement with the Uruguayan Rural Association and a Soil Microbiology Laboratory in agreement with the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries.
The effort of INIA Las Brujas, are aligned with the institutional mission of generating and adapting knowledge and technologies so as to contribute to the sustainable development of the agricultural sector and the country, in line with the state policies of natural resources conservation and social inclusion. It focuses on farms growers of the Southern region of Uruguay, but also reaches other areas of the country.
Area of Influence
From a geographical stand point, the region covered by INIA Las Brujas comprises the entire department of Canelones, the rural districts of Montevideo, parts of San José, Colonia, Florida, Lavalleja and Maldonado, with special reference to the production of vegetables, fruits and vineyards, plus intensive animal production.
So the activity of INIA-Las Brujas has as its main recipient this type of farmers in the South of Uruguay, but extended to other regions of the country through coordination with INIA-Tacuarembó and INIA-Salto Grande.
This farming sector takes account of a 1,8% of the total area of Uruguay but it comprises a 21% of total farm numbers and a 17% of the rural population economically active.
INIA Las Brujas research priorities are directed to the development of a farm that is able to export, offsetting constraints from a small internal market which is frequently overstocked. The challenge is to generate those technologies that will enable these Uruguayan intensive farms to achieve an effective insertion in the regional market while also allowing their access to markets overseas.