Lead Organization:

Grupo Yanapai

Partner Organizations:

Association of Potato Landrace Guardians of Central Peru (AGUAPAN), International Potato Center (CIP), Forage and Fallows Phase IV project, Peruvian Society of Environmental Law (SPDA), Instituto de Innovación Agraria (INIA), and Asociacion Pataz

Community of Practice:







The consolidation of AGUAPAN)—the Peruvian Association of Potato Landrace Guardians—shows progress in its eighth year. Internal leadership is growing, and a pool of new leaders includes women and youth. Two European companies continue contributing funds linked to Clause 9 of the ITPGRFA, which stipulates farmers’ rights. AGUAPAN has grown to 101 families representing nine regions. The support group (Yanapai, CIP, INIA, SPDA) has now also incorporated as the Pataz Association. In 2019, Yanapai led research to characterize the diversity held by 43 guardians in four regions. Results revealed 909 unique landraces. Yanapai collaborated with CIP to DNA fingerprint diversity from 19 farmers from Pasco and Lima. A total of 88 unique landraces were identified.

The AGUAPAN model’s potential to foster conservation through a farmer network that uses diversity and local knowledge for traditional farming practices is unique. A key strength is the adaptive heterogeneity in varying contexts. Yet challenges in articulating the potential are equally great and include farmers isolated in communities; an experience- and internal-leadership gap; intergenerational transfer of seeds and local knowledge; climate change’s impact on production, food security, and income;  lack of connectivity and services; and communication costs.

Grant Aims:

The overall goal is to develop a better participatory monitoring system to track the adaptive evolution of landrace mixture. Differentiated market spaces will be promoted to engage rural youth and make the rich biodiversity accessible to urban consumers (i.e., farmers markets, collection points, links to gourmet restaurants, public procurement, ecotourism). Attention will be paid to regional dynamics and opportunities, with AGUAPAN giving regional representatives more options to practice decentralized leadership, facilitating peer-to-peer visits and exchanges as well as local options for market participation. Stronger local organizations and investment in the capacity of women, youth, and leaders are expected to result in better representation of custodian farmers’ interests.

Specifically, the project aims to address three complementary areas, each representing a knowledge gap:

  1. Conservation dynamics of mixtures and associated biocultural diversity 
  2. Decentralized market access in each region to diversify income
  3. Governance and leadership of AGUAPAN toward autonomous management and benefit-sharing

The project will address the questions:

  • What is the composition of each of the family landrace mixtures (chaqru) and how do these compare at different scales (family, community, region)? How do they evolve in the face of  socio-ecological changes?
  • How can the intergenerational preservation of local knowledge and practices associated with landrace diversity between youth, parents, and grandparents be innovated? 
  • Can better and tailored incentive systems be achieved by adopting context-adapted market linkages at the local, regional, and national level?
  • How does the decentralization of governance at the regional level enhance integrated management?
  • Can working with guardians and young leaders strengthen future governance?

Outputs and Outcomes:

  • Public and private entities using dynamic virtual catalog with varieties from nine regions of Peru to monitor biodiversity of AGUAPAN members; also contributing  to national CoP that monitors conservation status at intraspecific level 
  • Database with detailed variables of varietal mixtures as well as socio-ecological drivers that influence evolution between agricultural campaigns 
  • At least one new printed catalog, series of biocultural flyers, and one scientific article published 
  • Marketing opportunities identified and activated for the sale of biodiverse agroecological products (varietal mixtures) with a conservation seal guaranteeing origin of products offered by AGUAPAN members, achieving incentives, direct relationships, and food sovereignty for both consumers and guardians 
  • Above products include market inventories with seller/buyer profiles, social network maps by market type, and local marketing networks linking guardians and buyers 
  • At least one scientific article on territorial markets published
  • Decentralized and strengthened governance with participation of young people, women, and men leaders of each region influencing favorable regional policies for the conservation of biodiversity; AGUAPAN strengthened internally at local, regional, and national levels with integration of youth guardians’ network and young volunteers committed to conservation
  • Seed of potato landraces available to guardians in each region 
  • AGUAPAN partners recovering biodiversity from collective seed banks; communities and producer organizations reintroducing diversity from collective banks 
  • Training materials and at least one scientific article about youth and conservation published