Currently, SEMBRAR Institute provides technical support to an important group of several families in two rural municipalities in the department of La Paz , Cairoma and Patacamaya, both located in the Andean Altiplano .

Patacamaya Township

In Patacamaya , we work with milk farmers organized into modules. The goal for this sector is to improve milk productivity.

Map 1. Patacamaya intervention area.

Intervention zone

In this region we work with seven communities and 16 milk modules (see table below).

Table 1. Communities selected for technical assistance (milk industry)




1 Comunidad Taypillanga 4 80
2 Comunidad Taypillanga norte 2 40
3 Comunidad San Juan de Culta 2 40
4 Comunidad Arajllanga 2 40
5 Comunidad Takahua (Zona porvenir) 2 40
6 Comunidad Jokho pampa 2 40
7 Comunidad Iscallani 2 40





Each of these modules is composed of approximately 20 families ; many communities have from two to four milk modules. The total number of families we work with in Patacamata is 320.

The most frequent activities performed in the field are:

1. Improved milking techniques, especially in terms of hygiene
2. Improved forage storage techniques
3. Improved production and productivity of forages such as alfalfa, barley and oats.
4. Because of production cycles, especially in the production of forage, the first activity of SEMBRAR Institute at the beginning of each year is to improve milking techniques.

This activity is accompanied by workshops and training courses such as:

• Good milking practices;
• Management of milk;
• Animal health and genetic improvement

These training workshops and courses are accompanied by hands-on demonstrations and the opportunity for teams to develop materials that will help improve practices.

1. Improved techniques for storage of forage under the responsibility of the field technicians, who monitor and make agreements with farmers to develop technological innovations according to these practices. This activity is accompanied by workshops, courses and meetings. Specific topics considered include:

• Dairy feeding strategies for cattle;
• Ways to forage hay;
• Forms of silage and fodder storage silos;
• Appropriate use of supplementary feed

2. In order to improve forage production, we consider new varieties of forage crops such as alfa lfa, barley and oats, with an emphasis on increasing yields and planted areas . We also provide accurate assistance in issues such as:

• Selection of crops and varieties to provide a higher quality of food and nutrition
• Periods for sowing and harvesting of fodder crops
• Ways to crop and phenology stages that are ideal for harvesting
• Forms of fertilization
• Irrigation systems
• Harvest and post- harvest practices

In the activities described above, the farmer has the opportunity to access a ppropriate technology, good quality of inputs; and participatory extension (defined as the daily monitoring of on-site activities by technicians) to ensure the farmer will obtain higher profits. These actions include other simultaneous activities such as:

• Exchanges of experiential learning/best practices
• Field days and exhibitions
• Technology demonstrations days
• Projection of videos and other media
• Additional groups with which to implement comparative work
• Radio spots
• Experimentation in the field
• Handouts and other printed materials (for relevant activities)

CAIROMA Township .

Many of the communities in Cairoma produce potatos, which is why SEMBRAR Institute intervenes with technical assistance in the first and second links of the potato production chain in Bolivia. Our activity is divided into four components:

• Seed potato production in the formal system
• Seed potato production in the informal system
• Potato production for consumption in high-elevation fields
• Potato production for consumption in low-elevation fields

SEMBRAR Institute’s technical assistance intervention is undertaken with these four components according to their relevance to each agro-ecological zone in the region.

Map 2. Intervention area in the municipality of Cairoma

High-elevation area of intervention
Low-elevation area of intervention

Currently we serve seven communities in the high-evelation agro-ecological zone, total ing 280 families.  In the low-elevation agro-ecological zone we provide services to two communities, tota ling 100 families (see table below).




1 Comunidad Taypillanga 4 80
2 Comunidad Taypillanga norte 2 40
3 Comunidad San Juan de Culta 2 40
4 Comunidad Arajllanga 2 40
5 Comunidad Takahua (Zona porvenir) 2 40
6 Comunidad Jokho pampa 2 40
7 Comunidad Iscallani 2 40





Our technical support is based on five main activities:

1. Introduction of plows and harrows for loamy mountain soil in nine communities in the municipality of Cairoma
2. Implementation of integrated pest and disease management techniques in potato seed fields
3. Proper management of potato seeds in potato production fields for consumption
4. Potato market surveys and analyses in surrounding municipalities and the cities of El Alto and La Paz
5. Training of farmers in the use of market information, production costs and production planning.

1. For the first activity, we have entered into a specific agreement with the Center for Research and Training in Agricultural Machinery (CIFEMA) in the city of Cochabamba, which will demonstrate in the field modern implementation efforts, while training the field technicians and farmers to gradually modernize their agricultural implements and tools.

2. The second activity - comprehensive management of pests - is the responsibility of the field technicians. They continuously monitor producers' fields to review and select technological innovations with them  using the technique of knowledge dialogue . This is accompanied by workshops and training courses on topics agreed to with the farmers, such as:

• What are insects and pests
• Damage caused by pests and diseases in potato fields
• What is a comprehensive pest control strategy
• Basic requirements to implement an integrated pest management strategy

3. The proper management activity in potato seed production fields and especially in areas of potato production consumption (i.e, the more populated valleys) is focused on the administration of seed tuber according to the agro-ecological zones of a given municipality. Technical support is based on providing farmers with specific knowledge of the tuber’s management at various intervals, especially during months of intense usage. This activity is one of several options to substantially increase producer s’ income. Consequently, farmers are also trained on the following topics.

• Factors in the duration of tuber dormancy
• Management of seed tubers
• Characteristics or factors of seed storage
• Breaking of dormancy

4. SEMBRAR Institute has a specific alliance with the Fundación Valles (headquartered in Cochabamba) for market surveys and analysis; this organization delivers training in the use of market information.

In sum, a comprehensive set of materials and topics are developed for training both farmers and technicians, which provide market information and knowledge regarding optimal crop management , thus contributing to timely decision making by small farmers.


2512 Sánchez Lima Street , Sopocachi
Melissa Building, Mezanine A
Telephone.: (591) 2 –2425034

La Paz - Bolivia