The PMCA and potato market chain innovation in Peru.

Potato is the main crop grown in Peru’s highlands, where it is an especially important source of both food and cash income for small farmers. More than 3,000 varieties of native potatoes are cultivated, mainly above 3,500 meters above sea level. From 2001 to 2010 more than 20 public, private, and non-governmental organizations (NGO) worked with Papa Andina Regional Initiative and the Project for Potato Innovation and Competitiveness in Peru (INCOPA) to promote innovations in native potato production and marketing that would benefit small farmers and make the market chain more competitive. To this end, an applied research and development (R&D) approach known as the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) was developed. To capitalize on the biodiversity existing with native potatoes and their culinary, nutritional, and cultural attributes, INCOPA worked to link smallholder cultivators of native potatoes with researchers, development professionals, and a range of potato market chain actors. The PMCA was used to identify business opportunities, foster collaboration with actors along the market chain, and generate innovations to enhance competitiveness. The PMCA was complemented with eff orts to promote innovation platforms, raise public awareness of the virtues of native potatoes, and support evidence-based policy making. This mix of strategies triggered innovation processes that have continued until today. This Innovation Brief outlines some of the project’s results and implications, and areas needing further attention.

Citation: Ordinola, M.; Devaux, A.; Bernet, T.; Manrique, K.; Lopez, G.; Fonseca, C.; Horton, D. 2014. The PMCA and potato market chain innovation in Peru. Papa Andina Innovation Brief 3. International Potato Center. Lima, Peru. 8 p.