Traditional Varietal Seeds Centers
In Latin America, 80-90 % of producers belong to the Family Agriculture (FA) sector. This group occupies between 14 to 70 % of the agricultural area of the countries of Latin America and contributes 27-67 % to agricultural GDP. For some species of economic importance, between 50 to 90 % of crop production is carried out on the basis of traditional seeds through self-production or through transactions in local markets, exchanges between farmers and fairs.
There is an increasing demand for sustainably produced local food. Their characteristics are valued by consumers and their demand has created niche markets that give good returns to the farmers who produce them. This supports the interest of governments to strengthen family agricultural production systems that have maintained traditional varieties (VT). Various initiatives developed by national organizations and centers show that an important agrobiodiversity still remains in situ. Despite this, access to VT seeds is limited, mainly because VTs are cultivated for self-consumption and / or maintained only by some farmers, their cultivation is restricted to certain localities or they are produced in small volumes. Another problem of the current traditional seed supply system (informal or traditional system), is the quality of the seeds. Generally, these seeds can show sanitary problems, low vigor, varietal blends, and a high population unevenness. The scarce information on agronomic behavior in various growing environments, nutritional and organoleptic value prevents an adequate choice of farmers. All these factors hinder the possibilities of transforming VT into a true profitable productive alternative in the region. The project aims to implement an integrated model of conservation / production and supply of quality VTs seeds with associated value information, based on the linkage of national genebanks with in situ systems (farmer-community), which will allow a better and sustainable supply of quality seeds, the basis for promoting their cultivation and promoting the development of competitive local products, with heritage identity.
The technological solution
The project proposes to intervene in the initial stage of the chain increasing the supply and quality of VT seeds. For this purpose, the creation of an integrated system of production / varietal supply of horticultural species that allows better management of traditional seeds is proposed, and thus strengthen the competitiveness of the FA of the participating countries.
- Increase the varietal supply of traditional seeds through the link with the INIAs germplasm bank.
- Characterize the traditional seed system in the study territories.
- Develop an access system and germplasm linkage and exchange instruments that provide sustainability to the system.
625 families dedicated to family farming in Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.
Sustainable Development Goals
- Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) - Chile
- CONAGRO - Chile
- Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA) - Uruguay
- Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
- Instituto Paraguayo de Tecnología Agraria (IPTA) - Paraguay
- UdelaR - Uruguay