By Comunicaciones

(Washington DC, August 3rd, 2020). FONTAGRO announces the start of execution of this project, winner of the 2019 call,  “Productivity increase in family farming with sustainability, inclusion, and profitability”.

The initiative will be financed for a total of US $ 723.043, with contributions from FONTAGRO and other organizations from Colombia and Bolivia.

Family farming is a key productive sector where is feasible to eradicate hunger and propose changes towards more sustainable agricultural systems. In Latin America, 80% of farms belong to family farming, including more than 60 million people, making it the main source of agricultural and rural employment. Within family farming in the high Andean regions, Andean tubers are essential for food security as they are an accessible source of calories, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

One of the difficulties in growing Andean roots and tubers in Bolivia and Colombia is the low yield, particularly of traditional varieties. One of the fundamental causes of this low yield in terms of quantity and quality of the product obtained is the poor quality of the seed.

The project will use good agricultural practices and productive linkages that impact the conservation, valorization, improvement of the yield and environmental sustainability of the cultivation of potatoes and other Andean tubers and roots. Mainly, the project will use good quality seed and agro-ecological techniques for integrated pest management in family-farmers’ production units.

The Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) from Colombia is the lead executing agency, and the Corporation for the Participatory and Sustainable Development of Small Rural Producers (PBA) of Colombia, and the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) of Bolivia act as co-executors. In addition, the following institutions are associated to this project: The Municipality of Sacaba, Bolivia; The Association of Workers from the Alizal District (Asoagroalizal) of Colombia; The farmer Cooperative “Integral Agropecuaria” (COINPACOL) from Colombia; and the farmer Cooperative “Ventaquemada” (COOINPAVEN) from Colombia.

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FONTAGRO was created 1998 with the purpose of promoting the increase of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and the reduction of poverty in the region. The objective of FONTAGRO is to establish itself as a sustainable financing mechanism for the development of agricultural technology and innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean and Spain, and to establish a forum for the discussion of priority topics of technological innovation. The member countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. In the last 21 years 159 regional agricultural innovation platforms have been co-financed for an amount of US $ 119.5 million, which has reached 531 institutions and 33 countries worldwide.