Quienes SomosJaén San Ignacio Bagua Special Project (Peru)

Rural Development in Jaén, San Ignacio, Bagua and Utcubamba (Peru).

The Agro-Environmental Program started in March 2003, with the objective to contribute to reclamation and preservation of the natural resources and improvement of incomes obtained from agricultural activities of the farmers of the project area.

The Program works in the provinces of Jaén and San Ignacio (Cajamarca, Peru), Bagua and Utcubamba (Amazonas, Peru). The area is ecologically fragile, and has been occupied over the decades by migrants from the mountains, fleeing poverty.

Based on experience of other projects, the Agro-Environmental Program is built around three mechanisms of giving cash directly to the organized population. One of these mechanisms is the methodology C+P, also called the methodology Minga (pdf), which uses “peer learning + Contests + Prizes”. The methodology C+P is considered to be a mutant Pachamama Raymi. Its main elements are:

Accelerate the processes of change, by a very dynamic transfer of technology.

Mobilize the resources of the population to optimize the projects resources.

Promote the capacity development and local technologies in an open way, including farmers’ organizations and their own initiatives.

The principles of C+P are based on the following assertion: real factual progress is rewarded, not mere intentions, promises or predictions.

The other two mechanisms are: Local Capital Fund (FCL) and the Local Investment Fund (FIL), managed by producer organisations. The FCL is meant for improvements in housing and the farm, while the FIL is for new ventures and business plans. Both funds have been highly successful in their objective to capitalize family microenterprises, intensively promoting people's own resource mobilization guaranteeing sustainability.

Over twelve thousand farms increased their average income, many based on improved coffee production. There is a direct link between the results of PAA and 41% increase in coffee production throughout the Cajamarca region. The improved living conditions, as manifested by individual farmers becomes obvious finding important improvements in equipment and housing, quality of diet, health and in educating their children. The project has generated an estimated 11,000 new permanent jobs, with very important improvements in the quality and soil conservation, eliminating discharges of polluted water by almost one million cubic metres (from coffee processing). Most importantly, it has contributed to raising self-esteem and optimistic vision of the future of all these hard-working people.