Working with Women in the Andes

In Bolivia

CIP-Papa Andina is working with PROINPA, SINARGEA, and the Bolivian Ministry of Rural Affairs to develop activities that promote women’s participation in producer’s associations, specifically those that aim to increase members’ income through the use and promotion of the biodiversity of Andean root and tuber crops.

The project builds on women’s traditional knowledge of the different uses, nutritional benefits, and medicinal properties of crops such as achira and arracacha . That knowledge is combined with new information on additional uses of these products.

Results have been presented at several food fairs and other events to disseminate the knowledge to other communities. The project has contributed to raising the income of the whole family, and to increasing women’s social capital, including their self esteem and increased recognition from other community members.

In Ecuador

CIP-Papa Andina conducted a study with the National Program of Roots and Tubers of the National institute of Agriculture of Ecuador to assess gender relationships in the production and commercialization of potato seed with small-scale farmers.

The findings suggest that women contribute most of the time consuming work of producing potato seed, but are not paid accordingly, and they are less likely than men to delegate potato production tasks and responsibilities.

In addition their contributions are not factored into production costs or the economy of the family, and women have less access than men to credit and training offered to members of the Consortium of Small-Scale Potato Producers.

The study points to the need to increase women’s access to credit and capacity development. It suggests the need for training and materials adapted to women and conducted in their native language

andes, women