Bolivia is one of the ancestral cradles of the chili (genus Capsicum), which includes between 20 and 30 species. The domesticated chili peppers have a rich diversity in their sizes and pepper shapes, and, of course, in taste and spiciness or hotness. In Bolivia, the largest concentration of chili pepper (Capsicum pendulum) cultivation is found in Chuquisaca, a department that, year after year, is the seat of the Chuquisaca Chili Festival (Fiesta del Ají Chuquisaqueño).

The total supply of dried chili peppers in Bolivia is 4,000 metric tons per year, of which 53% is imported. The value of the chili business in the agricultural production chain, at market prices, reaches US $815,000 of which 1.45% goes to the providers of supplies, 34.70% to the chili producers, 12.5% to intermediaries, 4.51% to the processing companies, 32.84% to wholesale vendors, and 14.00% to retail vendors.

Fundación Valles implemented the Chili Pepper Program starting in 2001. It concentrates its efforts in:

  • Improving seed quality, initially developing a process of research that obtains local varieties by collecting germplasm, as well as the introduction and validation of exotic varieties with an eye on the market
  • Improving the efficiency of chili growing, participatively developing a technological package with best practices, and introducing improved methods of selection, classification, packing, and bottling
  • Expanding in new national and international markets, identifying, facilitating, and cementing alliances between interested parties, strengthening involved organizations to improve their management capabilities
  • Increasing the efficiency of processing, improving the quality of the product offered to the consumers, increasing the economic return coming from marketing activities, and strengthening the institutions involved to improve the quality of their services.


Coverage: 17 Municipalities
Cochabamba (2), Chuquisaca (9), Santa Cruz (4), La Paz (2)

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Ficha Técnica


Completed projects


Beneficiaries in completed projects


Technology adoption rate


Increase in average income per crop


Municipalities involved


Projects underway


Beneficiaries trained during projects


Beneficiaries receiving technical assistance


  • Technological and industrial development of chilli pepper (capsicum pubescens) - ají
  • Identification and characterization of chilli pepper ecotypes
  • Formation of groups of chilli seed specialists with business orientation
  • Positive seed selection and establishment of parcels of the same ecotype based on market demand
  • Integrated control of diseases that limit the chilli crop development, mainly “la chorrera
  • Development, implementation, and adoption of integrated management options for the chilli pepper cultivation in their distinct ecotypes and climate conditions
  • Promotion and support for chilli festivals, business circles and summit meetings of chilli producers
  • Installation of processing centres with industrial ovens for dehydrating
  • Introduction and market validation of two varieties of paprika pepper (capsicum annum); development of a technological and marketing package
  • Support for diversification of products derived from chilli in bottles of different formats and brands
  • Exportation of whole chilli peppers and dried powder to Spain


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