Beneficiaries of the "Potato, Family and Climate" project highlight and apply the knowledge they have acquired

Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru present their main results.

La Paz, Lima, Quito, 10 December 2021 - Beneficiaries of "Potato, family and climate", funded by the EUROCLIMA+ Programme in the Resilient Food Production Sector, report on the knowledge acquired during the two years of the project. The project was implemented by the International Potato Centre (CIP) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru and revolved around the goals of implementing and disseminating climate-smart agricultural practices, linking to differentiated markets and sharing knowledge of the results obtained.



The project, whose full name is "Biodiversity and best practices for climate-smart agriculture to improve resilience and productivity of family farming in potato-based Andean food systems", had a grant of €1,272,392 (€1,000,000 funded by the European Union) and was implemented between June 2019 and September 2021. 

The central focus of the project was capacity building, and in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, producers agree that the training has helped them not only to improve the quality of production, but also to revalue the native potatoes produced in their communities. 

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                                                                                       Harvest of potatoes in Ecuador

Adaptive capacity - In order to improve their adaptive capacity, 29 climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices combined with local knowledge were applied and disseminated among farming families and public and private actors linked to potato-based Andean agri-food systems in territories vulnerable to climate change. 

More than 7,000 people registered for the courses, 54% of whom were women. Up to 1,341 farmers now have the capacity to apply climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices in potato-based systems to cope with climate change. 583 direct producers have capacities and tools to link to differentiated markets through products and services from CSAbP systems with CSA attributes. 

Leonel Mejia is a young potato farmer in the community of Chiarumani. At 14 years old, he has been curious to investigate the native potato varieties, of which there are more than 1,500 in Bolivia, and is now working on the creation of a catalogue: "I managed to rescue 40 varieties of native potatoes, although I know there are more, as I have been asking uncles and elderly people and they told me what potatoes used to be like". 

In the case of Mario Mamani, a potato farmer from the Chiarumani community in Bolivia, who says that the project has helped them "a lot in obtaining potato quality, so that our products do not have worms. Because when worms get in, there are no more potatoes to eat or to sell". Martha Bautista from the community of Ayzacollo agrees that using one of the climate-smart practices "of placing the pheromones in drums, has helped save us from pests, we have had good results".

In Ecuador, Yolanda Fala of the association Fuente de Vida Rumipamba said that during the implementation of the project "we have shared our ideas and the knowledge that we apply in the field and thanks to the institutions that have been training us, giving us their knowledge, so that we as young people (can) practice in our field".

The training was extended to 59 organisations, including NGOs, local governments, local and national research and development organisations.

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Implementation of workshops to strengthen the commercial management of the cooperatives AGROPIA and INPAMI in Peru. 

and beneficiaries of the project in Bolivia

Trade linkage - In addition, up to seven trade innovations were implemented, which were designed and piloted through agreements between producers, value chain agents, mainly companies and local and regional markets, to link this climate-smart potato with differentiated trade markets.

One of the characteristics of the project on the commercial side was related to the development of a differentiating seal, in the Ecuadorian case the label helped to introduce the potatoes to supermarket shelves. Crisanto Quilligana, head of trade at AGROPAPA, pointed out that this achievement means that "we are now differentiated by the brand, quality and origin, as well as by information on the producer association and the characteristics of the product". 

Regarding the articulation with differentiated markets, Matilde Chávez, president of Inpami in Peerú stressed that with the training workshops "we are learning how to get our products to the market and with more information", as did María Chávez, an associate of Agropia, who believes that after this process they will now work on "how to attract the client for sales, we have to work in the virtual market as well as in the face-to-face market to have greater distribution and sales, to reach a larger number of people". 

Silvestre Quispe, general manager of Agropia, said that with the workshops "we are committed to offering quality, organic and well-presented products to reach the end consumer".

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     Leonel Mejía, beneficiary of the Chiarumani community, Bolivia

Overall, a comprehensive capacity building programme was organised for technicians to respond to the business, with instruments for training and dissemination with farmers, and more than 15 spaces for awareness raising and promotion of the potential of resilient native potatoes in alliance with the gastronomic and business sector. The training workshops on market issues with farmers had a particular focus on young people. 

Sharing results - Systematising, publishing and disseminating the results, evidence and lessons learned from the research and capacity building processes was the third goal. 

In this regard, 675 professionals from 59 public and private institutions (intermediary beneficiaries) developed capacities to disseminate Climate-Smart Agriculture practices in potato-based systems and to apply methodologies/tools to articulate family farming with differentiated markets.

One of the most important results is the creation of the AGRINAPSIS platform that seeks to disseminate best practices in climate-smart agriculture and articulation to differentiated markets, sharing traditional and scientific knowledge, experiences, research and technological development, so that, among all users, the generation of answers to concerns within a community eager to learn is strengthened. 

In addition, an interactive Catalogue was developed on "Climate Smart Practices for SAAbP", a virtual catalogue on climate-smart practices in this area, which is accessible to the general public through this línk, and there is a repository for some of the training material developed in the project, accessible through IICA's Virtual platform for the management of participatory processes .

Other consumer and general public advocacy actions on biodiversity, resilient production and food include the original campaigns for Ancestral Potato and Migafonos in Bolivia, I consume native potatoes in Peru and Full Potato in Ecuador.

About Potato, Family and Climate 

The Potato, Family and Climate project aims to improve the adaptive capacity of farmers and public and private actors linked to potato-based Andean agri-food systems in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, through the development, application and dissemination of best practices for climate-smart agriculture, and the articulation to differentiated markets. It is funded by the European Union through its EUROCLIMA+ Programme, Resilient Food Production Sector, implemented by GIZ and Expertise France.  The project has also developed the EUROCLIMA+ Green Solutions. "Local technicians in the Andes strengthen their capacities through a virtual programme to link family farming to markets" and Communities of practice in the Andean region facilitate innovation in pest management based on Insect Life Cycle Modelling using ILCYM 4.0

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