Early warning for the management of potato late blight

Call for Proposals
USD 300.000
Counterpart Amount:
USD 596.648
Execution time
42 Months
Total Amount:
USD 896.648
Participating countries:
Chile Chile Argentina Argentina Ecuador Ecuador Panama Panama
Funding source:
FONTAGRO Amount 33% Other agencies 0% Counterpart Amount 67%

Executive Summary

Potato is a major crop in Latin America and is the main food in family farming. It is native to America, as is the causal agent of Late Blight (LB), P. infestans. Today, LB is considered a re-emerging disease in this crop due to pathogen variability and climate instability that favors its presence and dispersion, with a high incidence and severity. Farmers, therefore, use pesticides excessively and inappropriately, increasing the environmental impact and health risks to users.

This project proposes the formation of a platform of specialists in potato LB, with the aim of developing and implementing an early warning system as a tool to support decision-making in family farming production systems, according to technology available in each country, enabling reductions in losses caused by this disease. Early warning-based information will help farmers perform chemical control in a timely and efficient manner and only when needed.

This information, together with integrated management training and good agricultural practices, will encourage adaptation and mitigation to climate change for the sustainable intensification of potato production.

As such, a 50% reduction of the use of pesticides necessary for the control of LB is proposed, to be reduced in a safe and efficient way together with the implementation of an IPM strategy, according to environmental conditions and production system, thus reducing costs by at least 20%. Applied research capacities will be strengthened to incorporate them into member countries' production systems.

The technological solution

This project will implement an early warning system as a tool to support decision-making in family farming production systems for integrated management of potato late blight in the participating countries. The system uses weather data alongside epidemiological information of the disease to estimate optimal moments for control.

Two systems will be implemented, one based on real-time connected weather station network information (tizon.inia.cl, Phytoalert) and a manual system that uses local environmental condition observations (DSS-HH). Both systems enable farmers to make integrated disease management decisions based on the information provided by the alert system, improving the efficiency of agrochemical use, increasing crop productivity and profitability.

The project involves working in Ecuador (Province of Cotopaxi, Pichincha and Chimborazo), Panama (Cerro Punta, Chiriqui), Chile (Chiloé Island) and Argentina: (Belgrano, Northern Argentina).


Regional platform of specialists: Technical capacity building will be a major step forward in solving the problem and implementing management measures with a sustainable approach in the 4 participating countries.

Early warning system: This decision support tool will make it possible to reach new users with information for efficient and sustainable disease management, under new conditions, reducing losses and improving the socioeconomic situation of farmers.

Seasonal warning: This innovation will enable the chain of actors and decision makers to support prevention in the face of high LB risk, to provide support and resources in advance to prevent the problem and potential losses.

Map of P. infestans population: This pathogen, at a global level, presents high genetic variability in its populations, so by determining its predominant characteristics in LAC, it is possible to estimate the potential gene flow of this population to other territories and prevent large-scale infection.

Members of the productive chain trained in IPM, BPA and early warning: This will decrease losses to LB, reducing the risk of farmers and to the environment pesticide use, encouraging the sustainable intensification of potato production.


The beneficiaries will be family farmers in the platform member countries.

  • In Chile, we will work with 35 farmers producing native potatoes in Chiloe Island, who are industry and supermarket suppliers, and indirectly with producers throughout the Archipelago.
  • In Argentina, we will work with 6 families of farmers in the Province of Buenos Aires, as well as another two small farming groups in the north, in order to analyze the two productive realities.
  • In Ecuador, the direct beneficiaries will be 120 farmers from the provinces of Cotopaxi, Pichincha and Chimborazo and the indirect beneficiaries would be the members of the productive chain.
  • In Panama, we will work with 20 potato producers in the Cerro Punta sector.

Sustainable Development Goals

No poverty Zero Hunger Gender equality Reduced inequalities Responsible consumption and production Climate action Partnerships for the goals

Main donors

Participating Organizations

  • Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) - Chile
  • Instituto de Innovación Agropecuaria de Panamá (IDIAP) - Panamá
  • Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) - Ecuador
  • Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
  • Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura (IICA) - Ecuador
  • Consorcio Papa - Chile
  • DMC - Chile
  • Productores y Comercializadores de Hortalizas Caballero S.A. (Productores y Comercializadores de Hortalizas Caballero S.A.) - Panamá
  • Municipalidad de Puqueldón, Provincia de Chiloé, Los Lagos (MP) - Chile

Graphics and data

Financing by country (in USD)
FONTAGRO Amount Other agencies Counterpart Amount

Geolocated Map

Publications and resources

With the support of
Fondo Coreano de Alianza para el Conocimiento en Tecnología e Innovación (KPK)