Better capacity, better opportunities
The Cahua Rural Community is located in the province of Cajatambo, in the highlands of Lima, approximately 3 kilometers from the Cahua Hydropower Plant, which is operated by Statkraft Peru since 2008. The community, despite having adequate weather, soil and water conditions, which are typical of the geographical area, does not make the most of its agricultural potential.
In 2010, 90% of Cahua producers did not possess adequate harvesting know-how, which explains the low yields and poor quality fruits. Additionally, all the trading was conducted through intermediaries, which resulted in farmers selling their produce at lower prices. In view of this situation, Statkraft Peru has been implementing the “Project for capacity-building to improve fruit production in Cahua,” which has improved the quality of life of 150 villagers by strengthening their technical capabilities for fruit production, which has had a positive impact on their revenues.
Additionally, the ASPAIN association was set up to improve the organization and articulate the joint efforts. Consequently, after four years of hard work, the Cahua community managed to trade their produce without intermediaries.
One of the project beneficiaries is Rafael Humbertt, a villager from the Cahua Rural Community and President of ASPAIN, who has engaged in agriculture for the past 20 years.
“We were in the dark, we did not know anything about fertilizing or grafting. We learned how to improve the quality of our fruit. We also improved our trading because the company got us in touch with a very good buyer who pay us better prices.”
Another case is that of Ángel Hernández, who claims that the project was highly beneficial for them.
“We did not know how to take care of the crops, and knew nothing about fertilizers. With Statkraft Peru we performed a soil analysis and they taught us how to use the necessary nutrients for each crop, and they provided us with the incentive to come together into an association. Now that we are ASPAIN, selling the fruit is easier, we get together, we support each other and we reach the volume required by the buyer.”
Noé Villareal says that the support they received from the company was paramount for the development of agriculture in the community: “Everything we did was empirical and with Statkraft we started doing things technically. I was unaware of modern techniques, but the company gave us training on high-intensity planting. They also engaged the services of an engineer, who taught us how to work the land using technical methods.”
Now that ASPAIN is a reality and sales have increased, they have a new goal as an association: importing fruit.
It should be noted that revenues to date have increased 55% through better trade windows. In 2015, 55 tons of mango were sold, and in 2016 YTD more than 60 tons have been sold, which marks a major milestone for ASPAIN and Statkraft Peru.