The T’ikapapa Initiative
Linking small operation farmers with high-value niche markets in urban centres
The T’ikapapa model links small operation farmers, who preserve and produce hundreds of native Andean potatoes varieties, with other potato chain partners to take advantage of high-value niche markets in urban centres.
Extreme poverty and rich biodiversity coexist in the Peruvian Andes, a region that is home to more than 3000 native potato varieties. Potatoes are an integral part of the Andean culture, but despite their excellent taste and value to local people, most of the varieties are little known in urban markets. A growing demand for specialty food however offers a great opportunity to generate sustainable incomes.
Farmers from the high Andean communities in Huancavelica, Junín, Huánuco, Ayacucho, Pasco, Cajamarca and Apurímac were helped to organize themselves into groups which then collaborated with A&L SAC, a private processing company responsible for delivering the potatoes to Wong, the largest supermarket chain in Peru. The commercial success of T’ikapapa as a gourmet food has helped to prove the worth of native potatoes from small-scale farmers and the value of their cultural heritage. The T’ikapapa initiative has already increased the income of over 500 farm families in the Peruvian Andes, stimulated new collaboration among farmers and commercial organizations, and created a completely new market for native potato varieties in Peru.
The main activities are:
- advancing the commercialisation of local potato varieties
- enabling local communities to set-up their own marketing and distribution channels
- achieving wider recognition in the national market and media
Huancavelica, Junin, Ayacucho, Pasco, Cajamarca and Apurimac farmer organizations as well as cooking schools.
Project for Innovation and Competitiveness of Potato in Peru (INCOPA)
Peruvian governmental agencies and local governments as well as non-governmental agencies.