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Idesia (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0718-3429

Idesia vol.34 no.5 Arica Oct. 2016 


Idesia and its contribution to new knowledge in arid zone agriculture



Ph. D. Pilar Carolina Mazuela Águila
Agricultural engineer Doctorate by the University of Almería,

In August, 1970, 46 years ago, the first number of Idesia was published, as a contri-bution to science and agriculture of Chile and other countries. This first number was the result of seven years of research of the Laboratory for Research and Control of Agriculture Pests, created by the Universidad del Norte (Chile) in 1963. Due to the number of problems, which were not only pests and not exclusive to Arica, this laboratory was transformed into the Center of Research and Agricultural Training (CICA, for its name in Spanish) in 1966. CICA studied problems of production, developing experimental research in crop management for better use of resources, as well as training activities and technology transference to the productive sector.

Four research lines were begun, in tomato, bean, corn and alfalfa, identifying different kinds of problems that affected these crops. Once these were identified, they were given priority in the research plans. Tomato had pest problems; the most important was the fruit moth Gnorimoschema absoluta (Meyr.). New varieties of bean and alfalfa were introduced, while research in corn worked to improve the local ecotype to increase yield and to decrease plant height and the length of the vegetative period.

In these years the scientists Héctor Vargas, Mauricio Jiménez, Alfonso Aguilera, Juan Pacheco and Javier Acuña, lead by Raul Cortés, worked hard to identify the pests that affected alfalfa, identifying and linking the larvae and adults of each species and estimating the eco-nomic damage these insects generated in their different stages. New methods for Chile were developed to identify nematodes based on bib-liography obtained abroad; systematic soil collection allowed these parasites to be iden-tified. It became imperative to publish the accumulated experience in Idesia.

Since 2006 the journal has been recognized as a contribution to knowledge of agriculture in arid zones by the scientific community, by being incorporated in the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO). These ten years in the SciELO network have honored these visionaries who were the main forces in the development of agriculture in arid and semiarid zones to solve the problems that affected crops in all aspects of plant breeding. They were able to take a step forward by indicating the potential of production during the entire year, the improvement in yields and off-season production in soils less fertile than in other parts of the world.

Today, Idesia is recognized as a reference for agriculture in arid and semi-arid systems for the quality of the articles published in this magazine. This recognition has been reflected in the index-ing in Scopus for more than a decade. Research and publication about climate change, water availability, desertification land, the need to feed people and animals, biodiversity and environ-mental sustainabiliy is the way that we can thank the researchers who gave rise to this magazine.

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