campo de cultivo de papa brotes de papa tuberculos

Optimization of the seed potato chain - Argentina


The objective of this report is to provide detailed information regarding the seed potato market in Argentina and the certification standards used by INASE. In addition more information regarding costs, management choices and the influence of other players in the potato chain on the seed potato sector will be presented. The seed production system will be described in detail with respect to agronomy, crop protection, storage, certification and use of modern technology. The “weak points” and threats as seen by the seed growers and processing companies form the basis of the recommendations for further development of the Argentinian seed potato sector.

Current figures for the total potato area acreage (seed and ware) vary between 80.000 and 105.000 ha for ware, and an estimated 4000 ha for seed production.

Argentina has two seed supply systems:

- the official system, under supervision of INASE (national inspection body),

- the informal system, mainly operated in the Cordoba region.

Production of seed potatoes through the official system is located, mainly in ‘restricted area’s in South West Buenos Aires (2200 ha), Malargue Valley in Mendoza (1300 ha) and Tafi-del-Valle in Tucuman (400 ha).

INASE is the government seed certification body, with regional branches, working on an independent budget, which is covered by inspection fees. According to insiders’ estimations, about 30% of the official system seed is officially certified. That has all to do with fiscal reasons: end products, like ware potatoes, are not imposed to taxes, so 70% of the seed is marketed as ‘ware’. We assume, however, that this ‘black market’ is properly identified, in order to satisfy ware growers. It is also believed that the quality of certified and ‘black’ seed is not different. The seed market is said to be very competitive, so ware growers claim their rights. All seed is virus tested, which may include TSWV as well, and double checking by receivers is common practice. This should prevent seed producers from marketing low quality seed.

In general, seed growers and processing companies take their responsibilities regarding seed quality very seriously; INASE offers a basic regulation, inspection and registration system (including maintaining plant variety rights), which in practice is upgraded with additional requirements and safeguards; quality control is largely operated by growers and processing companies. These companies actively advise and support farmers relating to crop production techniques, and operate a company quality control system, on top of INASE regulations.

“Weak points” and threats were identified by the interviewed seed growers and processing companies. Based on these interviews it is recommended that the following aspects need more attention (research, extension) in order to further develop the Argentinian seed potato sector.

  • Optimize the physiological age of the seed tubers;
  • Improve the availability of high quality storage facilities;
  • Improve logistical aspects of seed harvest, sorting and storage;
  • Evaluate the feasibility of a cultivation system on beds instead of rows and yield standards in numbers (small) tubers instead of weight in tons, thus preventing the cutting of tubers;
  • Coordinate experiments, monitoring, extension and education regarding Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSVW);
  • Improve the external quality of seed potatoes;
  • In order to increase the acreage of seed potatoes, new areas have to be explored and developed;
  • The control strategies of volunteer potatoes and weeds that act as a virus reservoir in the restricted has to be optimised.

canasto de papa

Potato Events 2012


January 12th - 15th 2012

Fiesta Nacional de la Papa in Villa Dolores

March 15th - 18th 2012

35th Fiesta de la Papa in Otamendi.

March 16th 2012

Field Demonstration Dewulf Potato Harvester 2060 and Baselier Rotary Ridging cultivator

March 14th -17th 2013

36th Fiesta Provincial de la Papa in Otamendi. Gitah will have its own stand and will perform various activities, especially the reception for GITAH Field Mission 2012 participants

March 16th 2013

Manter Packing Demonstration in Nesmaral - Potato producer and packer for the fresh market. San Martín 296 Cdte. Nicanor Otamendi - Provincia de Buenos Aires.

March 16th 2013

Omnivent Storage Demonstration in Sol del Este

November 29th 2013

Jornada Técnia AgroPapa in Córdoba.

March 20th - 23th 2014

37th Fiesta Provincial de la Papa in Otamendi. Gitah will have its own stand and will perform various field demonstrations.

April 24th, 2014

Packaging and Marketing Workshop at Nesmaral, Otamendi


April 30th - May 4th 2012

Agrishow, Riberao Preto

June 20th - 22th 2012

Hortitec 2012, Holambra, SP

September 17th - 20th 2012

XXV ALAP Congress , Uberlândia, MG.

The Netherlands

August 22th 2012

Potato Demo Days Westmaas

November 10th - 16th 2013

Agritechnica 2013. At the world’s leading international exhibition for agricultural machinery and equipment, exhibitors from all over the world will be presenting their products and services for professional plant production.

September 11th - 12th 2013

PotatoEurope 2013. This event will be the heart of the international potato industry, where colleagues, clients, potential clients, suppliers, researchers and all other services in the potato chain will be gathered.

Sept. 2013

Gitah Potato Mission and visit to Potato Europe in Emmeloord, Netherlands. Dutch farmers and companies will be visited, in order to give the visitors an insight in how the Dutch potato sector is organised and how it performs.


Sept. 12th - 13th 2012

Potato Europe, Villers-Saint-Christophe, France


September 28th - October 2nd 2014

Congress of the Latin-American Association of Potato (ALAP).


September 3rd - 4th 2014

Potato Europe , Bockerode (Hannover)