Potato Production System in the Andean Region of Bolivia: Modern Seed Potato Production, The Use of Agricultural Technology, and Genetic Erosion
The High Andean region of Bolivia lies at the centre of domestication and genetic diversity of the potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Potatoes are cultivated throughout this region, in the Interandean Valleys and the lowland tropics. The former is where the greatest variety of native potatoes is grown (especially in the Depts. of La Paz and Cochabamba), giving rise to microcentres of genetic diversity. It is now, however, immersed in a process of transformation. Technological changes in potato production, especially the shift towards certification seed potato production i.e., use of few varieties, intensive agrochemicals use, etc., are together causing the loss of native potato species and varieties, plus has been accompanied by the loss of traditional cultivation practices, and perhaps the sustainability of potato production in the Andean region.
Mario Coca Morante*