Shore organic sesame production
17 June 2019

Beginning in 1987, varieties of sesame from the Center for Research in Tropical Agriculture (CIAT-Colombia) were introduced to the Bolivian East, and the adaptation of the crop in this region among medium and small producers in the central area of the department of Santa Cruz was demonstrated . The takeoff was good. Now sesame in Bolivia is cultivated by 5,000 families among native, intercultural and Mennonite. The planting in 2018 was 20,000 hectares, explained the general manager of the Foundation for the Promotion and Research of Andean Products (Proinpa), Antonio Gandarillas. He indicated that in the department of Santa Cruz, the sesame cultivation areas are located in San Ignacio de Velasco, San Jose de Chiquitos and the Integrated North.

But the cultivation of this cereal, of gradual growth, faces a serious problem, explains Gandarillas. It is affected by fungal or soil diseases that cause a reduction in yields of 400 to 1,100 kg / ha and losses between 5 million and 11 million dollars a year. The first step Faced with this situation, producers and companies tried, with limited success, the application of synthetic chemical fungicides. "The production of sesame with chemicals is dominated by Asian countries, which makes it very difficult for Bolivia to compete in this market," explained Antonio.

Towards the organic In this context, the demand was to develop a technology and an organic management strategy for the diseases that attacked sesame, which was possible thanks to the financing of the Bolivian Chamber of Exporters of Sesame (Cabexse) The impact The organic management was used in 6,000 ha in the 2017-18 campaign, which allowed an income to producers between Bs 2,395 and 3759 per hectare. "If the strategy is applied in all cultivated, better production will be achieved by reducing the use of pesticides. The production of organic sesame generates greater benefits because it creates sources of work in industries, suppliers of inputs, suppliers of equipment, transportation and generates foreign currency for the country, "the executive concluded.