ALTAGRO aims at contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by working with rural farming communities in the Altiplano. The five specific objectives are: Improve the productivity, diversity and income generation of farming systems in the Altiplano and explore innovative local non-farming sources of employment and income; Organize and train peasant women to enable them to effectively participate in postharvest activities that add value to primary products, such as potato, bitter potatoes, milk, quinoa, and alpaca meat and fiber; Improve child nutrition and health through enhanced food availability, dietary diversity and nutritional education; Increase the knowledge of peasant women as relates to human and environmental health factors, to convert them into effective change agents in the family unit and the community; Promote the utilization of agricultural technologies that reduce and reverse natural resources degradation.
The project will benefit the indigenous people in the Altiplano, and consumers in the Andean region and international markets. The number of rural communities existing in the target area is 700 approximately and the total number of potential beneficiaries of the outputs of the project will approach 42,000 families. The project will also represent a model for rural development based on a comprehensive view of sustainable agriculture, which encompasses the economic, biophysical, socio-cultural and environmental aspects of market-oriented development. It takes advantage of CIP's generated technologies and approaches and the rich regional eco-systems and biodiversity. The project follows a systems and participatory approach, which constructs upon the long and successful experiences of CIP and its regional partners. It establishes a mechanism for the systemic integration into farming systems of agricultural technology produced by the commodity-oriented research carried out by several of CIP's divisions, through a holistic approach. Tools and methods for systems, vulnerability, climatic risk and trade off analyses developed by CIP's Research Divisions provide support. The entire framework will be informed by social, gender, economic, market and policy analyses, so as to yield sound research-based options for rural development and the evolvement of a peasant economy into a market-oriented economy.
The project is supported through a grant of 10 M CAD over five years from the government of Canada.
The “Pachamama Raymi” approach to promote the use of technologies will be used. This approach is a technological contest where farmers participate with the innovations they are using for solving identified constraints. The approach was successfully applied in other projects.