For, and with, farming families in Peru
For over 30 years, although Peru is among megadiverse countries *, it has been carrying out policies of agro-exportation and mining. These policies greatly affect the environment and biodiversity in a negative way. At the same time, a large majority of the country’s rural families are unable to lift themselves out of poverty.
Agriculture is currently the main source of income for 2.3 million families which represent 34% of Peruvian households. It generates around 7.6% of the GDP.
The level of child malnutrition varies from one rural region to the next, between 30% and 40 %, while obesity has become a serious problem in urban regions (affecting 24.6 % of people over age 15). In both cases, this is a reflection of serious nutrition problems. Moreover, we have observed Peru’s increasing dependence on food imports, while small scale farmers, especially those living on the high plateaus, have great difficulty in marketing their produce.
It must also be pointed out that the Andean region has been affected by severe recurring draughts since 2002, making Peru one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
That is why we have been focusing our activities in the Andean region of Huánuco District, in the rural zones which has been serving the metropolitan zone of Huánuco-Amarillis, since 2008.
Our work in Peru
We are currently working with three local partner organisations to support small farmers and their families in the use of agro-ecology, on three levels:
- We engage directly with producers to improve their planning and increase their farming productivity, while respecting the environment. With our partners, we offer advice and follow-up that are based on techniques intended to improved the fertility of the soil, ecologic pest management, the relationship between farming and livestock raising, sustainable water management, the battle against deforestation, etc. We also work with farming cooperatives to facilitate the marketing of these families’ produce at Huánuco markets. Lastly, to increase incomes, we help youth find economic opportunities that strengthen the food system in the region.
- In order to create an environment conducive to the transition to agroecology in the Huánuco region, we work with officials in the intervention communes, so that they take the needs of small farmer into account and support them over the long term. We educate consumers about the benefits of a diet based on local products and about recognising the farmers’ labels, such as the PGS.
- More globally, these actions allow us to contribute to increasing the knowledge of agroecology for the benefit of other producers; and to sustain the advocacy work we do to defend the rights of farmers to national and regional decision makers.
Our partners in Peru
The Peruvian NGO, Islas de Paz Perú, was created in 2015 with the purpose of improving living conditions of rural families in the Districtof Huánuco, one of the poorest in the country. Even though the organisation was founded recently, the team has extensive experience. In 2008, the Belgium NGO Iles de Paix began working in Peru by establishing itself solely and directly in Huánuco. After completing its first two programs, the local Iles de Paix team, understanding the philosophy and methods of working, as well as the concrete results which lead to life changes in people, proposed the creation of a local NGO to continue the work after the expected completion of Iles de Paix‘s work in Peru in 2021. At present, the two NGOs are collaborating closely on two ongoing projects, whose partnership and agreement are based on an inter-institutional cooperation agreement, which provides for institutional support and mentoring from Iles de Paix as long as the two institutions coexist.
The Institut pour le développement et l’environnement (IDMA) is a non-profit non-governmental organisation which was founded on 13 March 1984. Its goal is to contribute to national development at the local and regional levels; to the creation of a sustainable development model that improves living conditions and quality of life for human beings, the democratisation of society, and social and gender equity with an environmental perspective.
IDEL has been operating for several years as the main NGO in central Peru. It has gained wide experience in the development of women, children and adolescents. This expertise has allowed it to conduct large projects for communities in the area of local territorial development.
*Group of countries where the most of the earth’s vegetable and animal species are represented; they are therefore considered to be richest on the planet for their biologic diversity.