Plant protection / Phytosanity Area

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The potato crop serves as a basic food source for many people in Latin America and the world, reflecting its economic, social and cultural importance. A number of damaging pests and diseases have been described that directly affect potato production across many countries, posing challenges for food production and pest management. These phytosanitary risks are a major threat to food security in the most vulnerable territories.

Similarly, in a globalized world where marketing of agricultural products is wide and varied, the risk of spreading pests and diseases is high. In addition, environmental variability due to climate change favors even more dissemination and establishment of pest and disease in territories where previously they were not described. This has also allowed for the gene flow of pathogens, favoring the presence of new genotypes which are often more virulent and aggressive. Due to this, today in Latin America we are threatened by new phytosanitary problems that are affecting the productivity of the potato crop.


• Form networks of plant health specialists in Latin America, enabling the exchange of knowledge and protocols to deal with phytosanitary problems.

• Monitor pests and diseases in Latin America, allowing the assessment of pathogen flow and potential risk of dissemination.

• Develop innovative techniques for detection and prediction of health risk, according to the environmental conditions and scenarios of climate change in Latin America.

• Develop and implement techniques of integrated management and best practices, adapted to the local situation, allowing a high acquisition of transferred technology.

• Search for financing to implement the work plan.


  • Dr. Ivette Acuña
  • Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA), Chile
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