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Heifer International is working in Peru with the Federation of Small Farming Communities in the Dry Forest (CECOBOSQUE), a second-tier organization covering 25 communities in Piura in northern Peru. The small farmers live in conditions of poverty and have limited production resources. Their agriculture and silviculture (sustainably growing forests to meet human needs) production systems are vulnerable to drought cycles. Additionally, the families lack social assistance, as the state does not take the region into account in its plans and programs.
Approximately 5,000 families from these small farming communities in Peru will participate in the project, bettering their quality of life through improved agroecological production systems, enhanced diets and increased diets, as well as by having their development needs addressed by the government. A total of 1,000 initial families are receiving sheep, goats, ducks, bees, seeds, irrigation systems, improved cooking stoves, training and technical assistance. These families will Pass on the Gift of these resources to 1,500 additional families, with training and technical assistance passed on to another 2,500 families. Through the project, all participating families will improve their well-being and achieve regional recognition of their organization and of the issues of food sovereignty.
Fredy Arévalo Vílchez is a villager with post-secondary instruction in production mechanics. Thus far, he has demonstrated a talent for leadership in his community, even in the face of the community's and country's general resistance to accepting organic agriculture practices over conventional agriculture. He has managed to position himself as an agroecological promoter of the group participating in the Agroecological School and has been invited by his friends and outside visitors to share the knowledge and experience he has gained.
Vilchez has attended various training events on organic fertilizers, but he says, "It never occurred to me to put this knowledge into practice." Eventually a friend invited him to participate in sustainability workshops in preparation of the launch of Heifer's project in this area of Peru. When he received an invitation from the regional coordinator to participate in the Agroecological School that Heifer International would hold in Piura, he did not hesitate to join the group.
Today, he works his own agroecological plot, where he has planted sweet potato, vegetables and organic corn, putting into practice what he learned. He now shares his knowledge with friends, making him not just a producer, but also a promoter of organic agricultural practices.Key Updates: