country Héctor Armando Garzón Cárdenas


Papa Potato

Papa and batata

The word potato is a hybrid of the native Andean Quechua peoples’ word papa for potatoes, and the Caribbean Taino peoples’ word batata, for sweet potatoes – even though the two plants are not closely related. These two names were hybridised by Spanish colonists and traders to give us our modern word. In modern day Colombia, the potato is still a subsistence crop for many smallholder farmers, yet the country is also home to a major commercial industry that is second only to Peru in South America. 

Héctor Armando Garzón Cárdenas is one of these major Colombian commercial potato growers, growing a family tradition that stretches back to his grandparents.

Growing sustainability 

Héctor started farming on small plots of land inherited from his father and grandparents. From these humble, family-led beginnings he steadily expanded his farm by initially leasing more land on which he could plant more crops and nurture a successful business. 

By expanding his farmland, Héctor has been able to not just ensure a more profitable business, but a more sustainable one too. With more fields, Héctor has been able to begin rotating crops, allowing the vital soil to recover its nutrients, supporting local ecosystems, and minimising the risk of disease. Alongside this traditional agricultural good practice, Héctor also uses brush cutters to incorporate crop residues into the soil. This further protects soil health by absorbing raindrop impact and protecting against wind erosion, while the increased organic matter in the soil improves its nutrient content. 

Cleaning tubers

We have been working with Héctor for eight years now, building a relationship that has allowed us to develop a comprehensive and wide-ranging inputs package alongside providing technical assistance where necessary. This package includes our Rastreador, Majestic, Fury, and Profenocron insecticides; Evito-T, Glory, Novofix, Curaxil, Polythion, Carbovax, and Yoker fungicides; Raizal, Poliquel Magnesio, Foltron, Nutrifeed Producción, and Poliquel Calcio foliar fertilizers; and Silwet adjuvant. We’re proud that Héctor is reaping the benefits of this package of inputs with stronger, more resilient, and higher quality crops that also produce increased yields. 

A responsibility 

When asked what he enjoys most about his calling as a farmer, Héctor points to the responsibility farming brings – the responsibility to ensure food security, to feed the cities, and drive sustainability. We share awareness of this responsibility and we’re proud to be reimagining sustainability alongside farmers like Héctor.