Update: This project has just been selected by the Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (FONTAGRO) to receive the Prix de l'innovation agricole en Amérique Latine [Award for Agricultural Innovation in Latin America]. The award is sponsored by the Inter-American Institute of Cooperation for Agriculture (IICA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (BID)
The Regional Association of Crop and Livestock Producers of Cuzco (ARPAC) was founded on January 17, 2004, upon the initiative of 300 smallholder families. ARPAC established and organized a market in the heart of the tourist city of Cuzco, where they could directly sell their products to consumers. Today, the Huancaro market features more than 5,000 smallholders from throughout the region of Cuzco, 2,000 of whom sell their production directly at the Huancaro market every Saturday. About 25,000 consumers, mainly from urban areas, visit this market on a regular basis.
Since 2007, AVSF and its local partner CADEP (Centro Andino de Educación y Promoción) have been working with ARPAC through the ”Kallpanchis” project. This project focuses on: building the capacities of ARPAC in terms of management, access to markets, and political influence; improving the quality of the products sold on the market; helping producer groups acquire infrastructure and equipment (tables for selling their products, tables for making cheese, grain mills, etc.); and stimulating and improving the social base of ARPAC, which is made up of producers from 13 different provinces within the Cuzco region. Many of the producers, both men and women, who sell their production at the market have received training in sales and marketing techniques as well as in food quality and sanitation. Thanks to a school (designed by this project) dedicated to training smallholder leaders, about 40 members and local authorities have received training in areas such as defending smallholder-farming interests, agro-ecological production, governance, administration, etc.
Weekly sales volumes for the 24 categories of products (mainly vegetables, yams, meat, and dairy products) have risen from 170 metric tons in 2004 to 850 metric tons in 2012, which translates to about $418,656 per week. By selling their goods directly, the producers have been able to increase their profit, since they no longer have to pay dealers to sell their goods for them. The average net income per week, earned over the course of just one day each week (Saturday), is 182.38 soles ($70); the net monthly income is $280, which is higher than the current legal minimum wage ($259). The market also has several positive indirect effects on the status of smallholder women, who play very important roles in the governance of ARPAC, the operation and management of the market, and the sale of goods. In addition to the sales-related jobs occupied by the producers themselves, more than 110 other jobs were created through the market. Finally, for consumers, the Huancaro market presents an alternative to the conventional market in the city of Cuzco: the Huancaro market offers a very wide variety of high-quality products at prices that are much more reasonable than those offered by the dealers.
ARPAC is a good model of a dynamic smallholder organization capable of running a large regional smallholder market that offers high-quality local products that are specific to the region and sold at prices that are fair for both producer and consumer.
Lire la fiche "les expériences innovantes d'AVSF : Marché paysan au Pérou" [CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE: ”INNOVATIVE AVSF EXPERIMENTS: SMALLHOLDER MARKET IN PERU”]