The onion is the vegetable most consumed in Bolivia. The onion business involves an annual total of 105,000 metric tonnes, and its annual sales have an approximate value of US $13 million to $15 million annually.

The (local red) onion market can be considered mature since the amounts supplied and consumed are now in relative equilibrium. The national population increase is the most relevant factor in this status, since the usual consumption per person has remained almost constant.

Fundación Valles implemented the Onion Program starting in the year 2001. The efforts of the Program are directed towards:

  • Maintaining a high level of technology and sustainability in the production of open pollination varieties
  • Development of processes to introduce hybrid varieties in commercial parcels with market focus
  • Strengthening the production of sweet organic onions so as to have a constant supply throughout the year, with the strategy of expanding the producing areas
  • Consolidating the work of the grower associations by means of processes to distribute seedlings and organized marketing
  • Initiating the phase of graduation in areas with a high degree of technology adoption and local knowledge with specific actions (organizational strengthening)
  • Including actions that are complementary to the project in production infrastructure, market studies, etc.

Coverage: 32 Municipalities
Cochabamba (12), Chuquisaca (5), Tarija (6), Santa Cruz (3), Oruro (4), La Paz (2)

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Ficha Técnica


Completed Projects


Beneficiaries in completed projects


Technological adoption rate


Increase in average income per crop


Municipalities involved


Projects underway


Beneficiaries trained during projects


Beneficiaries receiving technical assistance


March, 31, 2012


  • Commercial validation and dissemination of hybrid and open varieties in different planting seasons
  • Improved seed production of home-grown varieties and promotion of the use of special packaging
  • Introduction of low-cost practices in the harvest and postharvest of hybrid onions (optimal point of harvest, curing, drying, selection, classification, and packing in net bags of 25 kg with labeling of origin)
  • Development of an integrated crop management package  (nursery, sowing density, mechanization, irrigation, plant health check-up and fertilization schedules) and protocols of good agricultural practices and good manufacturing practices
  • Design and provision of classification machinery and automated packaging lines
  • Programming and seasonality for the production of landrace and hybrid varieties
  • Entrance of the Bolivian onion into the Brazilian market and trial shipments; export of nationally produced sweet onions to the United States; export of onions to Paraguay
  • Development of a program of certified organic sweet onion production; logistics of gathering, packing and transportation for export to the United States
  • Strengthening grower organization and support in the creating ANAPROCH and Bolivia Produce S.A.
  • Development of market promotion strategies and onion sales campaigns
  • Putting together the required quality standards for onion bulbs jointly with the Bolivian Institute of Standards and Quality (Instituto Boliviano de Normalización y Calidad)
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