The Departments of Apurimac and Ayacucho include some of the very poorest
parts of Peru, especially badly hit by the activities of the 'Shining Path'
and the violent reaction of counter-insurgency forces in the 1980s/90s.
Many of the lessons from Patacancha were adopted here and after a two year period of research and feasibility studies a series of integrated projects were put together with local communities. These have concentrated on health and nutrition, conservation of the environment, agricultural extension and the setting up of a series of skills centres, including a carpentry workshop, a blacksmithy, horticultural centres and and other facilities to promote the training of local craftspeople.
For most farming families in this region food security has been the primary consideration and our projects have concentrated on stabilising the livelihoods of marginalized families whilst developing a long term strategy for expanding agricultural production and opening up markets for crops in order to increase household income. For more details see Organic Agriculture and Commercialization of Andean Crops
The need to increase agricultural production has initiated major projects to restore pre-Hispanic irrigation canals and terrace systems. These have been accompanied by awareness-raising programmes, amongst local communities but also aimed at local and national government. Recent years have seen interest and active involvement in the restoration of traditional agricultural systems advance to a new and very encouraging level. Some 18,000 people have benefited from our projects in the Apurimac/Ayacucho region and there have been intensive programmes of seminars, courses and major conferences to promote traditional Andean technology more widely. These included a National Seminar organized by CT and other agencies in Lima in 2006 where it was agreed that a co-ordinated National Plan to rehabilitate irrigated terrace systems would make a significant contribution to rural development and to water conservation in the Peruvian highlands