Every year, the potato farmers in Colombia’s Cundinamarca region lose around 20 tons of soil per hectare – and they lose yield and income along with it. This erosion, due to the continual cultivation of deep seedbeds that weaken the soil structure, jeopardizes the livelihoods of thousands of families.
To increase productivity sustainably, Syngenta has worked with local authorities to develop Conservando Mi Tierrita (Preserving My Land). This program provides training to smallholder potato farmers in soil conservation techniques like minimum tillage (plowing), as well as in the responsible and efficient use of water and crop protection products. Training around 1,400 potato farmers each year has increased productivity by 25-30 percent while reducing soil loss by 67 percent.
“I’ve moved from producing 400 bags per hectare to 600,” says potato farmer Miguel Gil. “I’m saving money and producing more thanks to Syngenta, their products and advice.”