APS Homepage

Poster: Epidemiology: Risk Assessment


Multilayer Networks Supporting Healthy Seed Systems for Smallholder Potato Producers in Tungurahua, Ecuador
J. HERNANDEZ NOPSA (1), J. Andrade-Piedra (2), G. Forbes (3), P. Kromann (4), S. Lei (5), J. Brisbane (5), K. Garrett (5) (1) University of Florida, U.S.A.; (2) International Potato Center, CGIAR Research Program on Roots Tubers and Bananas (RTB), Peru; (

The potato seed system is a multilayer network that includes social, economic, and agroecological components. Producers, breeding institutions, markets, technical support, and diseases are components of this complex system that interact and modify each other. We studied the structure of the networks of seed sources, markets, and IPM information sources, to understand impacts on the potato seed system of the Consortium of Small Potato Producers (CONPAPA) in Tungurahua, Ecuador. Using information about the structure of the seed system, we can consider how resilient the system is likely to be to stressors such as the introduction of a new pathogen. Which types of farmers may be more vulnerable to losses to such new stressors? One development goal is for there to be good access to quality seed and quality management recommendations, regardless of gender or farm size. Female farmers reported fewer diseases causing seed degeneration than male farmers, and fewer sources of IPM recommendations among the sources less likely to have commercial biases. Identification of key nodes that influence the success of seed systems (e.g., farmers, information, and seed sources) supports enhancement of the system, for improvements such as maximizing the distribution of good varieties, managing outbreaks, and targeted improvement of communication and infrastructure.