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Healthier, more nutritious potatoes improve food security in Colombia

April 26, 2016

The potato is one of Colombia's most important staple foods and a significant source of low-cost calories for families. However, yellow potato varieties grown in the Nariño region in southern Colombia are low-yielding and highly susceptible to late blight disease. In response to this problem, an innovative partnership between Canadian and Colombian researchers has resulted in the development of three new improved cultivars of yellow potatoes—with higher nutritional content, increased resistance to late blight disease, and greater yields—delivered to 650 farmers. Project research has shown that the improved cultivars have increased incomes for Nariño's farmers, have high commercial potential, and are popular with consumers.  And as a result of the research, Colombia's national public institutions have given priority to the rural sector in their food security policies and programs.

This project is a concrete example of how together, scientific knowledge and the traditional practices of smallholder farmers can spark effective solutions to the problem of food insecurity.

Read the complete story of change: Healthier and more nutritious potatoes for food security in Colombia (PDF, 816 KB).

Papas más sanas y nutritivas para la seguridad alimentaria de Colombia (Spanish, PDF, 816 KB)

This document is part of the Stories of Change series that shares some of the emerging outcomes from research supported in Latin America and the Caribbean by the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund, a program of Canada's International Development Research Centre, undertaken with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada.