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Paraguay Productivo spotlights stevia research at Agrodinámica 2010

 

USAID’s Paraguay Productivo (PyP, managed by CARANA) presented its groundbreaking research on stevia at Agrodinámica, the biggest agricultural technology trade show in Paraguay and a much-watched industry event for the Mercosur—the South American regional economic agreement.

Agrodinámica is organized by Cooperativa Colonias Unidas (Unified Colonies Cooperative), and presents new agricultural machinery, crop improvements, and best practices. More than 120 companies and 100 exhibitors participated in last year’s show, which drew between 15,000-18,000 visitors.

This high-profile event puts PyP on the national stage—in fact, it was publicly introduced at the 2009 fair, maximizing exposure for the agriculture-focused project. On the same occasion, Cooperativa Colonias Unidas identified stevia as a target crop with great potential to increase income and employment.

However, producers have run into problems with the variety of stevia donated to them, which has a low survival rate. The Cooperative has partnered with PyP to obtain technical assistance to overcome this challenge. The Project is currently developing a stronger stevia variety, as well as improving cultivation techniques for both the northern and southern regions. Test seedlings have been doing well so far; final conclusions of the research will be released in February 2011 and then shared with producers around the country.

To learn more about Paraguay Productivo’s work with stevia, watch the project’s director Santiago De Filippis at the V Stevia Symposium (in Spanish) in Asunción.

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Published December 2010