LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF (LWR) has worked in Peru since 1979, specializing in interventions that increase small-scale farmers’ capacity to: improve production quantity and quality; expand markets in rural production; assist communities to enhance their natural resource management; and increase the effectiveness of public and private investments in rural development initiatives. LWR works with local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments and associative rural enterprises as well as directly with farmers in an array of value chains to implement contextually-adapted interventions including sustainable climate-smart agriculture, income diversification, post-harvest processing, financial services, marketing, and increased organizational capacity. Recognizing that extractive industries of natural resources are a permanent feature of the Peruvian economy, LWR encourages involvement of responsible mining stakeholders in local development projects. This encourages a legitimate dialogue between the mining companies and local Peruvian people.
CLIMATE CHANGE: ADAPTATION
In the high Andes, short-term climate variations such as El Niño coupled with long-term variations attribute to the changing global climate patterns of that area. The changes mean an increased competition for water as well as a direct source of conflict between those working in agriculture and those working in the mining industry. In the high Andean district of Hualgayoc, conflicts among watershed users are negatively affecting local socioeconomic and political stability. These conflicts are exacerbated by extreme poverty, the expansion of industrial large-scale mining corporations, and a scarcity of safe water.
Hualgayoc’s ability to adapt to climate change is limited by weak local institutions, as well as ineffective community organization aiming to share the resource management but unable to do so. These weaknesses, consequently, increase vulnerability, social fragmentation, and reduce trust among community members. Based on the present problems faced by the district of Hualgayoc, LWR-Peru, Gold Fields La Cima S.A.A., the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and CEDEPAS Norte have formed an alliance to reduce its climate vulnerability. LWR is strengthening local government capacity to design and implement climate change adaptation plans and policies. At the same time, LWR is working with local communities to build capacity for integrated management of sub-watersheds and promote a culture of dialogue and negotiation among all communities in a watershed to ultimately realize the successful management of natural resources.
AGRICULTURE VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT: COCOA
In an effort to reduce reliance on illicit crops for rural livelihoods, LWR is promoting commercial cultivation of cocoa as an alternative, legal, high-value cash crop. LWR not only forms strategic partnerships to assure the selling of products and their profit re-investment into communities, but also recognizes innovative private sector investments towards inclusive economic growth for the communities within which they work. In the Valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro rivers (the VRAEM), LWR is strengthening rural financing with buyer SUMAQAO and the local organization Minka Tarpuy to improve quality and productivity of coffee through new practices in production and post-harvest processing. These new practices have improved the cocoa production quantity and provided access to higher-value markets within the domestic cocoa value chains. Participation in, and benefit from cocoa value chains is vital to small-scale farmers’ income. In Tingo María in the Huanaco Region, LWR worked in alliance with Cafetalera Amazonica-ECOM Atlantic (CAMSA) to improve production and quality of cocoa, create long-term commercial relations, and improve farm conditions to comply with industry certification standards.
AGRICULTURE VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT: DAIRY
In Cajamarca, LWR is working to improve household incomes from the artisanal dairy value chain by improving small-scale dairy production as well as cheese quality standards. The sale of artisan cheeses is a viable alternative for boosting income and enables families to purchase foods they do not produce locally. By improving herd management, promoting better milking practices, forming producer’s associations and enhancing marketing capacities, LWR assists families to realize increased incomes from milk and cheese production by 80% and 42%, respectively.
- Formed five producer associations to improve commercial ties to both local and regional markets.
- Improved infrastructure of 27 artisan cheese production plants resulting in increased product quality and quantity.
- Introduced three new cheese types in 16 artisan cheese production plants.
- Increased daily cheese sales for participating families resulting in a 42% increase in profit.
- Increased daily milk sales for participating families resulting in an 80% increase in profit.
- Trained 52 local leaders who play an important role in mitigating conflicts and promoting citizen participation.
AGRICULTURE: FOOD SECURITY
LWR works to improve the food security and living conditions of high-Andean agricultural producers of Peru. For over 30 years LWR has significantly increased the output and the diversity of traditional farm plots and linked producers with commercial markets for their products. We have successfully implemented small-scale technical irrigation systems, on-farm compost production, positioning of traditional products into commercial markets and increased household vegetable cultivation. Currently, in the highlands communities of Castrovirreyna Huancavelica, LWR is alleviating the effects of improper hygiene and poor dietary habits in the home by teaching parents about safe food handling and preparation. LWR is ensuring food security where families lack a diverse agricultural landscape and a nutritionally balanced diet as well as access to locally available nutritious foods.