Structure and management of traditional agroforestry vineyards in the high valleys of southern Bolivia

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Springer Nature
In the south of Bolivia, a group of traditional wine growers are distinguished by the cultivation of grapevines on native trees that serve as tutors. These growers currently represent one of the few examples of agroforestry vineyards in the world. They offer an opportunity to analyze the structure and management of these cropping systems, and to identify the ecosystem services provided by the combination of grapevines that are trained on trees. We characterize 29 agroforestry vineyards located in three high valleys in southern Bolivia, describing the main farm features, the structure and management of the vineyards, and the advantages of on-tree vine staking as recorded by the farmers. Farms were small (2.2 ha on average), with about half viticulture and half other crops and forage. The workforce was about half family and half employees. The most commonly used tree species were the molle tree (Schinus molle) and chañar tree (Geoffroea decorticans), and the majority of grape varieties grown were landraces such as “Negra criolla” and “Vicchoqueña.” The main cultivation techniques were pruning of the trees and vines, application of manure more than mineral fertilizers, gravity irrigation, and application of few pesticides. The main services farmers expected from trees were protection against climate hazards and flooding, disease control, maintenance of soil fertility, and higher yields. Agroforestry is a promising option for the agroecological transition of viticulture, which deserves further studies at both plot and farm scales.
© The Author(s) 2022. This article is published with open access at and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License - . The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Agroforestry Systems, 2022, available online at: . Keywords: traditional wine growing systems; agroforestry; viticulture; on-tree vine staking; ecosystem services; South America; Bolivia.
Oliva Oller, P., Notaro, M., Langer, E., & Gary, C. (2022). Structure and management of traditional agroforestry vineyards in the high valleys of southern Bolivia. Agroforestry Systems, 96, 375–386.