Logo Tropentag

Tropentag, September 17 - 19, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic

"Bridging the gap between increasing knowledge and decreasing resources"

Inclusive Business Models in Peru for Sustainable Use of Agricultural Biodiversity and Income Generation

Matthias Jäger1, Karen Amaya2

1International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia
2Bioversity International, Colombia


Agricultural biodiversity has been on a steady decline for the last century despite the potential of being a great source for income especially in those areas where conventional markets and value chains are underdeveloped. Peru is home to the highest diversity of cultivated chili peppers (Capsicum) in the world, but most of these native chilies are grown on small farms and have never been put to commercial use.
A BMZ funded project, coordinated by Bioversity International, filled the knowledge gap by characterising the useful and commercially interesting traits of chilies, mapping the Capsicum value chain, identifying bottlenecks, and developing strategies to overcome challenges in developing and taking products to markets to meet emerging demand trends for new and unique flavours that provide new opportunities for smallholder farmers to generate higher income. The project helped to forge mutually beneficial institutional and commercial alliances between small farmer organisations, processing companies, retailers, service and input providers, research organisations, local governments and development organisations. As a result, new and traditional products using native chili diversity have been developed and are now successfully sold in local and urban markets.
This paper presents the case of an inclusive and socially responsible business model successfully applied by project partner Agro Export Topará, a Peruvian private company that produces, processes, and exports organic and fair trade certified native chili products to the USA and EU, sourcing their unique raw material from smallholder farmer associations in the Peruvian Amazon. Twenty years ago, the company was stumped when clients asked about the distinctive attributes of the chili varieties they offered. Research is now providing the answers enabling the company to promote Peruvian native chilies in international markets.
The Capsicum project is a pioneer effort in trying to link the different actors of the value chain of a native Andean species with great genetic variability and great potential for the development of agribusinesses, applicable to other country contexts. Partnerships and inclusive business models are key to tackle failures in markets in order to raise incomes, make farming livelihoods more resilient, and prepare farmers to face future challenges, such as climate change.

Keywords: Agricultural biodiversity, corporate social responsibility, high-value differentiation, inclusive business models, neglected and underutilised genetic resources, value chain development

Contact Address: Matthias Jäger, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia, e-mail: m.jager@cgiar.org

Valid HTML 3.2!