Global Programs

NCBA CLUSA’s new USDA Food for Progress project in Peru set to benefit 12,000 farmers

NCBA CLUSA partners in Peru display some of their products at the launch ceremony last year.

NCBA CLUSA’s new People, Nature and Spice Alliance (PENS) project—financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food for Progress Program (FFPr)—will strengthen the ginger, turmeric and oregano value chains in support of small and medium Peruvian farmers. PENS will be implemented initially in Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna for the oregano value chain, and in Junín for the ginger and turmeric value chains; the project will later be expanded to Piura, Lambayeque, San Martín and Cusco. Overall, the project will benefit more than 12,000 farmers, 15 processors and 90 Peruvian producer organizations over a period of four years.

This project has two main objectives, which are to: 1) increase the productivity and efficiency of high-quality Peruvian ginger, turmeric and oregano by strengthening the capacity of farmers, producer organizations (POs), processors and other private sector entities, while improving the food security and climate resilience of farmers, protecting and conserving Peru’s natural biomes, and providing a pathway for farmers to improve their productivity and contribute to global spice markets; and 2) improve and expand trade in ginger, turmeric and oregano products by increasing their quality to meet international standards and connecting farmers and POs with Peruvian and international buyers.

On November 29, 2023, the PENS project launch ceremony was held and attended by representatives of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, the U.S. Embassy in Peru, the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation, the Ministry of Production as well as public and private sectors, academia and international organizations linked to ginger, turmeric and oregano value chains. These PENS partners and participants included ADEX (Exporters Association), ADEA (Enterprise Development Association), Sierra y Selva Exportadora, Agroideas, La Universidad Nacional Agraria de La Molina, and Agrobanco.

NCBA CLUSA will implement PENS in close collaboration with partners from the private sector and the Peruvian government, carrying out activities that include:

  • facilitating agricultural credit and other financial services,
  • developing agricultural extension capacities and services,
  • training farmers in techniques to improve their production,
  • promoting quality standards and certifications,
  • developing capacities at the producer cooperative level,
  • facilitating relationships between producers and buyers,
  • and promoting appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks.

By doing so, PENS seeks to help farmers and local organizations generate $100,000,000 in sales; support 12,100 people in participating in USDA food security programs; and put 8,000 hectares under improved management practices and/or technologies. PENS has a total of $3,477,300 in grants to leverage the activities to be developed throughout the scope of intervention.

In 2024, PENS will prioritize strategic partnerships with Peruvian and international entities recognized for playing a critical role in the development of the Agroindustry sector, focusing primarily on spice value chains. By forging partnerships with the private sector, PENS will increase the productive capacity of farmers and farmer organizations through learn-by-doing exercises in areas such as soil conservation, improved irrigation techniques, pest control and drying techniques adapted to changing climatic conditions. This will strengthen the spice sector’s production of high-quality organic oregano, turmeric and ginger, as well as environmental conservation. Product quality improvements will be designed to respond to market demand and generate domestic and export sales. Origin trips will raise the awareness required to achieve market quality and organic standards and further support opportunities for robust market linkages for Peruvian organic oregano, ginger and turmeric.

Between July and December 2023, PENS confirmed interest from 46 local producer organizations and cooperatives in participating in project activities planned for 2024. These organizations include two cooperatives led and managed by women, and represent around 2,500 potential beneficiaries. The project is expected to add more producers in 2024.

In addition, one key aspect of the PENS project is the adaption of climate smart agriculture across the oregano, ginger and turmeric value chains. In the coming months, PENS will conduct training for extension agents in topics related to carbon certification and the management of agroforestry production systems, in addition to conducting carbon cycle assessments for ginger, turmeric and oregano at the farm level. This work will help to monitor and measure changes in carbon footprint linked to changes in agricultural practices supported by the project. In implementing these climate smart approaches, PENS will work closely with local project partners, such as FORLIANCE.

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