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The T’ikapapa partnership model

The T’ikapapa partnership model

T’ikapapa is a partnership model that link small-operation farmers, who grow hundreds of varieties of native potatoes in the Andes, with other potato chain partners to tap high-value niche markets in urban centres. The T’ikapapa model promotes biodiversity conservation and environmentally-friendly potato production techniques, social marketing, improvement of the livelihoods to the farmers’ families, technical assistance to local farmers’ associations, and supports the flow of market information.

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
  • Disseminate a website and strengthen labelling system to promote “native” potatoes consumption and utilisation (www.papasandinas.org/sello).
  • Position their products as “jewels” from the “cradle of potatoes”
  • Build consumer demand in international markets.
  • Develop technological innovation and support technical assistance provided by local partners to improve agronomic practices and postharvest management for quality potato production.
  • Implement a strategic plan for quality seed production and utilisation.

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