My day starts tending to the greenhouse, then, I head out to the countryside (two hours from the city), where I meet farmers to evaluate the field trials. These informal meetings provide insight into the farmers’ needs, helping us make adjustments to our programme to create new varieties.
The process of researching and then creating new varieties can take up to 12 years, but the results will last for decades. The Patiño Foundation guarantees support for these long-term plans, and our Centre’s results since it was opened 43 years ago demonstrate the positive impact we continue to have on our country. In that time, we have released more than 20 improved varieties of maize, fava beans, common beans and peas.
Finally, once back in the Centre, I check the progress of the new materials, and feedback the programme adjustments.
I love being in contact with farmers and observing their interest in the new varieties developed in the Centre.
I remember when we were working on a new variety of fava bean, people were getting really excited about it, with some asking for seeds before we had finished creating them. At the same time, we had a visiting delegation of farmers from Peru, and they were really interested in these new varieties.
I took great satisfaction when a trial plot in a farmers’ field was producing outstanding results, despite limited water conditions. With neighbours asking about this new variety, the farmer was proud to have had this trial on his land.
We will continue to dedicate our efforts to helping the disadvantaged people of Bolivia overcome their challenges. For me, that means developing new varieties that have been adapted to the changing climatic conditions, then making these varieties available to farmers at a low cost.
Come and learn about the breeding process we follow for crops. Visit our field trials to get an idea of the importance of the Centre’s work, and talk to our staff about our new variety of programmes. Then, hear from the farmers how they feel about being part of these programmes and how successful these have become.