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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Call for experiences and effective policy approaches in addressing food security and nutrition in the context of changing rural-urban dynamics

David Suttie
David SuttieIFADItaly

Dear CFS colleagues,

Please find below an approach of territorial development from IFAD's Latin America and Caribbean Division's Peru portfolio.

David Suttie
Policy Analyst
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)


The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in partnership with the Republic of Peru.

Main responsible entity
The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation is the main implementing agency in partnership with IFAD, with the latter responsible for providing implementation support, supervision and appraisal.

Oct 2016- Dec 2022

Funding source
The bulk of the total project cost of just over US$70 million is made up as follows from an IFAD loan (US$28.5 million) and a contribution from the Government of Peru (US$38.8 million and US$7.2 from project beneficiaries). Total Project Cost: US$74.5 million.

The project area encompasses  27 municipal districts of seven provinces in the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM),  a   geopolitical area in central Peru located in the regions of Cusco, Apurímac, Ayacucho, Huancavelica and Junín.  The area is located between the interdependent depressions of the Central Cordillera and Eastern Andean Cordillera and in the Amazonian slope of the Andes; includes a high mountain range between 3000 and 4500 meters, Inter-Andean valleys between 1500 and 3000 meters, a pre-mountain or forest area between 300 and 1500 meters and part of the Amazonian plain or jungle to less than 300 meters.

The project areasuffers a high incidence of extreme poverty and have broadly been excluded from the country's development. This situation was exacerbated by the long-standing conflict that affected Peru in the 80s. Illicit drug trafficking is established in the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM) where there are remnants of the
Guerrilla group Sendero Luminoso, nowadays associated with drug trafficking. Within the project area, there is a split of approximately 75 per cent rural against 25 per cent urban, based on local definitions. 74 per cent of the population in the area lives below the monetary poverty line. Of these, 39 per cent are extremely poor and 33  poor– values that place these districts among the country's most vulnerable. Among those living in the project area, 73 per cent are under 29 years of age and 66 per cent are indigenous.

The project is focused around three interrelated objectives:

  • Building institutional capacities in the territory, including in local and provincial governments, supporting initiatives to improve communal goods and properties.
  • Developing a sustainable network of associations among potential project beneficiaries to promote and expand opportunities for economic development and social inclusion, providing support for economic activities by interest groups such as farmers organizations together with financial inclusion of families and associations.
  • Enhancing connectivity within the territory, focusing in particular on facilitating market access, creating jobs with start-ups or contracting of communal or associational microenterprises for routine maintenance of roads, providing for irrigation infrastructure at community level, and promoting water harvesting and collection.

Key characteristics of the experience/process
The following complementary approaches are designed to ensure the project benefits the households most vulnerable to poverty and hunger, while facilitating territorial-wide transformations:

  • The territorial development approach combines two main elements: (i) institutional development to promote consultations among local and external agents and include poor people in production transformation processes and benefits; and (ii) production transformation to link the territory's economy with dynamic markets.
  • Focus on participatory, community-driven development through delegation to community organisations to design and implement sub-projects which prioritize approaches to improve access of poor groups to social, human, financial and physical assets.
  • Social inclusion is cross-cutting. Accordingly, working with poor groups' organizations – especially small-scale and indigenous farmers' groups – and recognizing, as well as securing rights to, tangible and intangible assets of these groups is a priority.

Key actors involved and their role

  • The agency responsible for the project is the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, with close coordination and collaboration from municipal and provincial administrations.
  • Project implementation will be the responsibility of a project coordination unit composed of a project coordinator and eight specialists in the following areas: (i) M&E; (ii) financial inclusion; (iii) entrepreneurship; (iv) infrastructure; (v) natural resource management and climate change; (vi) social inclusion; (vii) administration; and (viii) accounting and support staff. Each local agency will have a team made up of a coordinator, an administrative assistant and various specialists.
  • In all cases, project implementation specialists will work with local groups on design and implementation, with the latter having primary responsibility for implementation of sub-projects.

Key changes observed with regards to food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture and food systems
Foreseen benefits in terms of food security and nutrition include:  increased  physical assets for farming communities; improved agricultural productivity; more sustainable natural resource management; increased access to affordable food  by  poor consumers of targeted territories ; increased social capital to promote the start-up and development of economic associations of small-scale rural farmers  to improve their access to value chains and promote their participation in the benefits of territorial development.  Over the long-term, all this is expected to lead to improved food access and availability in the territory.

Challenges faced
The major challenges relate to: (i) institutional capacity; and (ii) possible trade-offs between targeted approaches to ensure benefits amongst food insecure groups (e.g. focusing on poor groups and areas)  vs. holistic/multi-faceted approaches to achieve territorial-wide development.

In the first instance, while some measures to develop decentralized governance systems are already in place, capacity among relevant institutions is often lacking. Similarly, the capacity among organizations for food insecure groups to contribute in the design and implementation of initiatives is generally weak. As such, providing training at both sub-national and local level is imperative in the short-term; the same applies to  longer term approaches to ensuring access to relevant education and training in  territorial development, with the latter implying the need to partner with local, national and international institutions with specific human capital and educational mandates.

In the second instance, achieving an appropriate mix between targeted and wider initiatives to develop territories is not straight-forward for relatively small-scale projects. Engagement with national and sub-national policy processes, focus on knowledge management for sharing of results with similar (complementary) territorial initiatives, as well as focus on learning and training systems are all measures that can facilitate transferring of relatively targeted local approaches to wider territories.

Lessons/Key messages

  1. Individual projects need to find appropriate mix and complementarity between targeted and holistic approaches. Targeted approaches are required not only to have a pro-poor approach able to reach food insecure groups, but in a context of limited resources to focus on those thematic areas in which the project can bring an added value. However, territorial development itself, involves considering a holistic approach, that integrates the different conditioning elements that underpin the development of networks of communities. 
  2. Individual projects need to be linked and coordinated to wider development actors, policies and approaches to address the multi-faceted constraints faced by local actors.
  3. Territorial development must be grounded in people-centred approaches which target and enable the participation of food insecure groups.
  4. Local actors –especially food insecure groups – must be placed at the centre of design and implementation of initiatives aimed at benefitting them and be represented in territorial governance systems. At the same time, capacity development among these groups, as well as among sub-national and local authorities will be required to ensure long-term improvements.