Presentation on theme: "PROINPA: A SANREM partner for progress A profile of PROINPA, host for the SANREM CRSP 2007 Annual Meeting, with images of collaborative programs and projects."— Presentation transcript:
PROINPA: A SANREM partner for progress A profile of PROINPA, host for the SANREM CRSP 2007 Annual Meeting, with images of collaborative programs and projects in Bolivia. Technician Cesar La Fuente works with apple seedlings propagated under aseptic conditions at the Tissue Culture Laboratory in the Toralapa Research Center. SANREM CRSP is supported by the United States Agency for International Development and the generous support of the American people through Cooperative Agreement No. EPP-A-00-04-00013-00
What is PROINPA? Fundación PROINPA – Foundation for Research and Promotion of Andean Products – is a SANREM CRSP partner in South America. Originally part of the Bolivian Institute of Agricultural Technology, which closed in 1997, PROINPA is a scientific organization that helps farmers by promoting technological innovation, food security, and the conservation and sustainable use of the Andes’ genetic resources. Researchers Lilian Pinto and Massiel Ovando analyze plant specimens treated with silver stain gel.
PROINPA’s mission PROINPA generates and disseminates knowledge, products, and services through collaboration with public and private organizations, including: Universities; Ministries; Municipalities; Financial agencies; Donors and foundations; Companies and professionals; and Producer associations. Storage rooms at PROINPA’s laboratory in Cochabamba keep plant specimens sterile and at controlled temperature and humidity.
PROINPA-SANREM partnership Above, Corinne Valdivia speaks with Chris Kosnik of USAID, left, and PROINPA Director Antonio Gandarillas. Below, Jeff Alwang with Ilich Figueroa and Ruben Botello of PROINPA. SANREM CRSP Phase III, managed by Virginia Tech, began in 2004 with five long- term research projects, three with activities in South America. PROINPA is a partner in two: “Watershed-Based Natural Resource Management in Small-Scale Agriculture: Sloped Areas of the Andean Region,” directed by Jeff Alwang at Virginia Tech; and “Adapting to Change in the Andean Highlands: Practices and Strategies to Address Climate and Market Risks in Vulnerable Agro-Ecosystems,” directed by Corinne Valdivia at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
A first-hand look … A highlight of the SANREM CRSP 2007 Annual Meeting was a daylong tour of PROINPA’S headquarters and laboratories in Cochabamba, and its experiment station at Toralapa, 71 km. away in the Tiraque watershed. Annual meeting participants view the Tiraque watershed on their way to PROINPA’s Toralapa Research Center.
SANREM Program Director Theo Dillaha and wife Rebecca Caldwell take in a vista of grain fields at the Tiraque watershed. … at PROINPA’s projects
A rich gene pool PROINPA is known globally for its contribution and commitment to agricultural development. Because Bolivia is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, the genetics of its native plants are of great scientific interest. PROINPA maintains the Bolivia’s official germplasm bank for Andean tubers, roots, and grains. At Toralapa, researchers also are experimenting with alternative crops, including medicinal plants, strawberries, peaches, and bananas. The aim is to identify fruits and vegetables that can be grown and marketed profitably by local farmers. In a Toralapa greenhouse, researchers are experimenting with strawberries as an alternative to traditional crops.
At left, Technician Angela Meruvia of PROINPA’s Community Unit explains research with the rich variety of potato, oca, isaño, and papalisa native to the Andes. Top right, Ximena Cadima, who is responsible for genetic resource thematics, describes the area’s 1,700 varieties of potatoes.
Connecting with the community One of PROINPA’s primary goals is to teach local farmers new agricultural technology such as tilling methods, crop rotation, and proper use of pesticides and fertilizers. PROINPA, like SANREM, is committed to including women in its outreach. SANREM and PROINPA researchers meet with local farm families at the Toralapa Research Station.
Sensitivity to gender issues At a breakfast organized by SANREM Gender Coordinator Maria Elisa Christie, 20 annual meeting participants discussed how to increase women’s participation in SANREM projects. Topics included collaboration on publications; and improving women’s access to markets, knowledge of soils, and participation in governance and natural-resource management.
Sending the message In conjunction with the SANREM annual meeting, Christie gave a presentation on gender to the staff at PROINPA headquarters. Part of PROINPA’s stated mission is to respect and value diversity and equality. SANREM Gender Coordinator Christie speaks to PROINPA staff, left, and shares a laugh during lunch with Ilich Figueroa.
Buying, selling, and trading Though women are active in growing and selling produce, they are not always included in training and policy-making. A SANREM and PROINPA tenet is to ensure that all projects include women in all phases and that their special needs, contributions and distinct experience are considered and acknowledged. At the Tiraque marketplace that serves local residents, a woman barters peppers, carrots, and potatoes for other goods.
Taking a closer look SANREM Associate Director Keith Moore met with project teams to discuss collaborative SANREM research activities involving PROINPA; CERES, a social science research agency; and PROMIC, a watershed management organization. In Bolivia, research focuses on crop varieties that farmers can grow profitably and sell successfully while protecting the environment. At the Toralapa Research Center, Moore learns the process for making maca powder. A member of the radish family, maca has long been valued in the Andes for its ability to enhance fertility. The plant, once nearly extinct, is now cultivated extensively for local markets and export, and is marketed as ‘Bolivian Viagra.’
A night on the town On Day 3 of the SANREM annual meeting, after a full agenda of presentations and meetings, PROINPA arranged dinner and entertainment at a Cochabamba restaurant with panoramic views of the city after dark. A local dance troupe gives a modern interpretation of traditional Bolivian folk dances popular in the Cochabamba region.
A special thank-you After dinner, SANREM Program Director Dillaha presented a gift of appreciation to PROINPA’s Ana Maria Cortez, who coordinated travel, lodging, meals, audio-visuals, and other details for the annual meeting. The conference brought together more than 50 scientists, engineers, and development specialists from seven countries. Meeting presentations are available online from the SANREM CRSP home page: http://www.oired.vt.edu/sanremcrsphttp://www.oired.vt.edu/sanremcrsp/ Photos: Deanne Estrada, Keith Moore