People, Nature and Spices (PENS) project creates pathway for farmers to prosper and contribute to global spice markets


USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Associate Administrator Brooke Jamison delivers remarks during the launch. [photos courtesy U.S. Embassy in Peru]
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on November 29 launched a $28.6 million project to strengthen the value chain of ginger, turmeric and oregano in support of small and medium Peruvian farmers.

The People, Nature and Spices (PENS) project, funded by USDA’s Food for Progress Program (FFPr), will be implemented initially in Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna and JunĂ­n, and later in Piura, Lambayeque, San MartĂ­n and Cusco. PENS will benefit more than 12,000 farmers, 15 processors and 90 Peruvian producer organizations over a four-year period.

This investment demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. Government to the development of the agricultural sector in Peru, especially with the imminent arrival of El Niño, exacerbated by climate change. It will provide a pathway for farmers to improve productivity, prosper, become food secure and contribute to global spice markets.

The project falls within the framework of the successful Free Trade Agreement with the United States, which is approaching its 15th anniversary in February 2024. With a focus on sustainability, the initiative will train farmers to meet the growing global demand for spices and comply with international regulations and standards. In 2022, Peru exported USD$82 million worth of spices to the world, making it an important and promising category.

NCBA CLUSA partners in Peru displayed some of their products at the launch event.

The launch ceremony was attended by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Associate Administrator Brooke Jamison; John McNamara, ChargĂ© d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Peru; Valeria Roach, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of NCBA CLUSA; Alex Serrano, Senior Vice President of International Programs at NCBA CLUSA; and Jennifer Contreras Álvarez, Minister of Agricultural Development and Irrigation.

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) will implement PENS in close collaboration with partners from the private sector and the Peruvian Government. The project will implement activities such as: 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 cooperative producer level, facilitating relationships between producers and buyers, as well as promoting appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks. PENS takes a comprehensive approach to improving agricultural technical capacity, providing training and facilitating financing through the creation of a $3.4 million fund.

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