Organic farming in the Peruvian Andes

The challenge

Poverty in Peru is almost three times higher in rural areas than in urban areas, and is even worse in the Andean region. Organic agriculture is often promoted as a sustainable way to increase overall farm performance, reduce poverty, mitigate climate change, and improve food security. However, without sound ecological, social, and economic research, organic farming alone can do little to improve farmers’ livelihoods.

The research

This project, supported by IDRC and GAC through the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF), aims to increase the effectiveness of organic farming in two regions of the Peruvian Andes (Cusco and Cajamarca) known for their high biodiversity and active farmers’ associations.

The project will improve farm productivity by enhancing ecological cycles and improving participatory plant breeding, placing value on indigenous crops and nutrition. Research will also focus on social processes, including innovation, traditional knowledge, and linkages between organizations, policy, and advocacy.

Finally, to help increase farmers’ incomes and food security, this project will develop and enhance market access for organic products in the region.

Expected outcomes

  • Increased emphasis on organic farming and the consumption of local Andean crops
  • Identification of superior indigenous crops that smallholder farmers can grow
  • Establishment of a community- and local governmentoperated monitoring system on conservation practices
  • Implementation of sustainable organic farming techniques
  • Improved local and regional government policy on organic farming
  • New market opportunities for organic farmers

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

End Date

Friday, August 1, 2014


42 months

IDRC Officer

Renaud De Plaen

Total funding

CA$ 3,400,000


Peru, West Indies

Project Leader

Andrew Riseman


University of British Columbia

Institution Website

Project Leader

Manuel Ruiz


Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental

Institution Website

Project Leader

Roberto Ugas


Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina

Institution Website