Production areas in Bolivia and seed systems
In Bolivia each year around 130.000 Ha of potatoes are planted :
- 100.000 ha at high altitudes (zonas altas: 2.500-4.500 m.a.s.l.)
- 30.000 ha at low altitudes (zonas bajas y valles: 600-2.500 m.a.s.l.)
Main planting season at low altitudes is August and at high altitudes November.
In the zonas altas mainly varieties of the andigenum type are cultivated. I
n the zonas bajas y valles there are mainly the tuberosum type cultivars.
The andigenum variety Waych'a is also grown in the valles by commercial producers.
Andigenum type: Waych'a, Sany Imilla, Runa Toralapa, Yungay, Emilla Negra
Tuberosum type: Alpha, Desiree, Revolution, Gendarme
Seed use and seed markets in the zonas bajas y valles
In the zonas bajas y valles potato producers frequently buy new seed:
- potato growers are market oriented and have access to cash to buy seed
- temperature is relatively high and it is difficult to store own seed stocks for the next crop
- aphids are present and seed degenerates due to viruses
Seed use in the zonas altas
For a number of reasons in the zonas altas only a relatively small quantity of quality seed is purchased from outside the area to grow potato crops:
- farmers have limited cash to buy seed
- it is possible to store own seed stocks for the next generation
- distances to seed and ware markets are often long and roads difficult to travel on
- in the highlands virus degeneration is low, but in several places soils are infested with
- seed stocks are used here for several generations.
It is common practice that producers of consumer potatoes buy seed from regional traditional markets or use the small tubers out of their own harvest as seed.
It is a good practice to renew seed stocks from time to time. For seed renewal and own seed selection the following system can be applied. Seed use and seed renewal
This illustration demonstrates that introductions of small quantities of quality seed can have a great impact.
Seed producers: UPS-SEPA and Seed Units
UPS-SEPA ,the main seed producer in Bolivia, has an annual production of 2500 tonnes.
Seed Units, established in the highlands reached a production of 3000 tonnes.
UPS - SEPA======SEED UNITS IN THE HIGH LANDS