Carmen de Carupa, Cundinamarca

Colombia: A group of farmers creates a potato super seed

A group of farmers from Carmen de Carupa became scientists. They managed to create a seed to improve the production of potatoes so they don't have to rely on other marketers.

In Colombia, farmers generally have a hard time accessing potato seeds because they are not available at the time they're required or because they are costly.

"We created our own project between several associations so we wouldn't have to depend on anyone," said Antonio Perez, president of the Farmers Association of Granada.

The Farmers Association assured that these seeds would allow producers to increase their yields from 12-18 tons per hectare to 36 tons per hectare.

Additionally, the use of this seed significantly reduces the need for chemicals that damage the environment and affects the communities' health.

The low-cost laboratory where the seed was created is located in El Alizal, in the town of Carmen de Carupa.

Researchers from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana accompanied the farmers and taught them how to build their own lab and to use the in vitro meristem technique to create the seed.

The farmers that participated in this project, which is being implemented by five associations from Cundinamarca and Boyacá, visited similar initiatives in San Jacinto in Bolivar. Currently, the initiative is entering its final phase successfully.

The laboratory has the infrastructure required by the ICA for the production of potato seeds. The farmers undertaking the tasks in the laboratory and in the greenhouses are already trained and are receiving more on-site training. The ICA performed a pre-inspection visit that was satisfactory, so the laboratory's registration process can start.

In addition, producers have formed a joint venture that will allow them to be providers of the seed market.


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