Good quality seed: the basis for improved production and yield in the cultivation of native potatoes and Andean tubers
Systems for the provision of seeds of native potatoes and Andean tubers that are economic and sustainable for family agriculture, enable improvements to crop yield.
Context of the story
Family farming (FF) is key to eradicating hunger and proposing changes to more sustainable farming systems. In Latin America, 80% of farms belong to FF. Within FF of high Andean regions, potatoes (S. tuberosum), ulluco (U. tuberosus), oca (O. tuberosa) and mashua (T. tuberosum) are essential for food security, as they are an accessible source of calories, vitamins and antioxidants. Among the difficulties that RTA cultivation presents in countries such as Bolivia and Colombia is the low yield, particularly of traditional varieties. One of the causes of low yield is poor seed quality. In Bolivia and Colombia, on average only 2% of farmers use good quality seed to establish their crops
Production of good quality seeds of native potatoes and andean tubers and adoption of IPDM strategies for improving crop yields
The implemented initiative
Through strategies of Participatory Rural Innovation, this platform seeks to improve the system of potato and Andean tubers production of small producers in Bolivia and Colombia, with the use of seeds of good genetic and phytosanitary quality. The seed is expected to be available continously for small farmers, without relying on third parties to supply it. The adoption of integrated plant disease management (IPDM) strategies in crops aims to achieve a decrease in the use of agrochemicals, which will positively impact the environmental sustainability of production systems.
The use of good quality seed, the adoption of IPDM strategies and socio-organizational strengthening improve the yield of potato crops and Andean tubers in family farming
The technological solution
With the strengthening of the community fabric of the families participating in the project, it is expected to improve the potato and Andean tuber production systems of small producers, encouraging the use of high-quality genetic and phytosanitary seeds. In Colombia, the production of native potato seed will be implemented in a "pilot laboratory" managed by farmers trained in the use of biotechnological tools for in vitro tissue culture. In Bolivia, seed cleaning through in vitro tissue culture will be carried out by the UMSS, which, in association with the municipality of Sacaba, will be responsible for the continuous supply of seed to farmers in the area. Likewise, it is expected that with the adoption of agro-ecological designs by farmers and the incorporation of different IPDM strategies in their crops, the use of agrochemicals will decrease, with subsequent positive impacts on the environmental and economic sustainability of crops.
"Through the recovery and conservation of native potatoes and Andean tubers we want to strengthen the food security of our community"
Participatory collection and recovery of 36 varieties of native potatoes and 19 morphotypes of mashua in Colombia and 56 varieties of native potatoes, 3 of ulluco, 2 of oca and 2 of mashua in Bolivia.
33 Workshops and 66 field days on good agricultural practices, conservation and characterization of native potatoes, social strengthening
Establishment of 5 conservation and participatory research cores in Colombia, for the agromorphological characterization of the collected materials and IPDM
50 varieties of native potatoes established in vitro and 4 of them in the process of virus cleaning through thermotherapy.
Participatory construction of a social and technical-commercial baseline with the three organizations in Colombia.