Organic groundnut

Lead Organization:

Fundacion para el Desarrollo Tecnologico Agropecuario de los Valles

Community of Practice:

Andes

Countries:

Ecuador

Duration:

8/2009—8/2011

Overview:

The project strengthened institutional, technological and marketing mechanisms, allowing peanut farmers’ organizations to participate competitively in safe production and commercialization in external and internal markets. The project served 500 farmers of five organizations from five municipalities in three departments. The rural families’ incomes improved. The impact of the project rendered an increase in income from the sale of certified organic peanut at 33% over the Baseline. The value of strategic crop for Bolivia was increased. Even though Bolivia is the geographic center of peanut origin, this leguminous remained as an “orphan” crop. At present, peanut is a profitable crop, a first choice for the farmer. Access to domestic markets and new export alternatives for surpluses have been key to the rise in value of local varieties. The niche focus, distanced from “commodity” segments of the traditional export competitors, is a fundamental pillar for success. Participation of Bolivian certified organic peanut in international markets was begun. Results of exportation to European Union markets have been highly positive. Farmers have received premium prices on the farm (45% above their production cost). Organizations have had profit margins of 15%. The demand for organic peanut in Europe could grow at a rate of 2,000% annually without even showing signs of saturation. The farmers became specialized in organic peanut production techniques. 500 producers from 5 municipalities in three departments have acquired expertise in ecological production systems and participatory certification processes, achieving certification of 349 hectares according to European regulation. Aflatoxin levels were assessed in organic peanut for export. There is evidence that the application of critical control point prevention system was capable to maintain aflatoxin levels below the values permitted by European regulation (5 ppb).

Grant Aims:

The project´s main objective related to develop the process of internationalization and create niche markets in the European Union for organic peanuts of Bolivian origin, produced by small producers in the municipalities of Aiquile, Anzaldo and Mizque, Cochabamba Department, Torotoro Samaipata in Potosi and Chuquisaca was fully accomplished. Also, the three specific objectives linked to obtain qualitative and quantitative information aflatoxin of two indigenous varieties of organic peanuts, monitoring the degree of variation from farm to market destination; investigate characteristics, potentials and limitations of the market for organic peanuts Bolivian, both nationally and internationally, and develop marketing channels and penetrate market and strengthening economic organizations in their Internal Control System (SICs) and Certified Internal Committees (CICs) were achieved.

Outputs and Outcomes:

  • The incomes of the rural families were improved. With regard to the income from the peanut production and sale, the Fundación does an annual impact evaluation of family income in general and specifically as a result of each special intervention. The assessment carried out at the end of the year 2010 shows that the increase in the income due to organic peanut production and commercialization reached 27.36%. 
  • The value of a strategic crop for Bolivia was increased. Even though Bolivia is the geographic center of peanut origin, this leguminous plant remained as an “orphan” crop. At present, peanut is a profitable crop, a first choice for the farmer. The opening of domestic markets and new export alternatives for surpluses has been key in increasing the value of local varieties. The niche focus, distanced from the “commodity” segments of traditional export competitors, is a fundamental pillar for success.
  • Penetration and participation of the Bolivian organic certified peanut in international markets continued. Through the commercial alliance between the peanut farmers’ organizations beneficiaries of the Project, the Bolivian company AGRINUTS S.A., and the Dutch group INTERSNACK, three containers (20 tons each) of organic certified peanut were exported to the European Union. Likewise, as part of the scaling up process of the Project, fifteen 20-feet containers (270 tons) of conventional peanut were dispatched to niche markets in Europe. 
  • Producers became specialized in organic peanut production techniques. A total of 404 farmers from five municipalities in the Departments of Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, and Potosí acquired expertise in ecological production systems and participatory certification processes, achieving the certification of 349 hectares according to European regulation.
  • Focus on markets and agroecological agriculture strengthened. Income generation and improvement of quality of life based on participation in local and export markets will continue to be the work premise of Fundación Valles. This second year of work ratified the need to approach work with a holistic focus, assisting the primary agricultural producers of the rural economy and obtaining consensus for new business opportunities in their production systems linked to peanut. Therefore, intensive work will be done to increase production volumes and develop local and export markets for other species which form part of their rotation systems and which are capable of generating income in the short term.
  • Search for better price conditions and market for the Bolivian organic peanut. Fundación Valles will continue it efforts to offer farmers and their organizations opportunities for fair and sustainable trade, in which they will have self-determination to decide and negotiate the most favorable terms and price.
  • Exchange of knowledge, powerful tool for technological innovation. Research results must provide economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and socially acceptable technological products. The Fundación is strengthening the exchange of knowledge for construction of collective knowledge. In this process the institution is undergoing positive changes in its work focus and its work with farmers.
  • Revision of the Theory of Change. The focus and the tool were revised during the first year of execution. Adjustments made were consistent and valid for the implementation of the second year. A specific product related to the “Local Seed Supply System” that was substituted by “knowledge of the organic products market and penetration in “niche” segments linked to the value increase of native Bolivian peanuts.