They prop up organic sesame production
June 17 2019

From 1987, sesame varieties from the Center for Research in Tropical Agriculture (CIAT-Colombia) were introduced to Bolivian East and the adaptation of the crop in this region between 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 between 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 said that in the Cruzño department, the sesame cultivation areas are located in San Ignacio de Velasco, San José 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 from 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 tested, with limited success, the application of synthetic chemical fungicides."Sesame production with chemicals is dominated by Asian countries, that makes it very difficult for Bolivia to compete in this market," Antonio explained.

Towards the organic In that context, the demand was to develop a technology and an organic management strategy for the diseases that attacked sesame, which was made possible by financing from the Bolivian Chamber of Sesame Exporters (Cabexse)

The impact
Organic management was used in 6,000 ha in the 2017-18 campaign, which allowed producers to enter between Bs 2,395 and 3,759 per ha. “If the strategy is applied in all crops, 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, input suppliers, equipment suppliers, transport and generates foreign exchange for the country, ”concluded the executive.