The rural agribusiness development and environmental conservation in highland areas of Peru : An analysis of the current and future situation of organic farming in three districts of the Lurin River Basin

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekologi

Abstract: Rural agro-industry gives added value to peasant’s agricultural production. In Peru, many small farmers from highland areas are linked in this activity as a means of subsistence. These farmers, since ancient times, have performed all their field activities in balance with nature. In fact, the rural agribusiness has mostly been developed under agroecological principles. The main objective of this thesis the description of the characteristics of rural agribusiness and how this activity based on agroecology contributes to the conservation of the environment in the highland areas of Peru. The situation of rural agribusiness is reviewed from the global and local context of organic agriculture. It has also been taken the region of Lurin River Basin as a case study, where environmental, productive, marketing and institutional characteristics are described. Moreover, a study of the current and future situation using the scenario methods, and an analysis of sustainability is carried out for an organic farmers’ organization called “Association of Ecological Producers of the Lurin River Basin ‘Monticielo’”. Results of this thesis indicate that rural agribusiness in highland areas of Peru, specifically in the Lurin River Basin, is crucial sector it contributes to food security and generating income for rural families, conserve biodiversity and farmers` traditional knowledge has been used to address emerging issues of climate change. However, the main problems facing small producers are productivity, technology, marketing and organization.In the scenario analysis it has been identified that "Organic-point of sale" scenario can become a marketing point of eco-business efficiently, which could increase sales and improve the quality of life for farmers and for the environmental conservation. In conclusion, being closely linked to ecological farming practices, rural agribusiness is an important tool that contributes to the welfare of rural small farmers and environmental conservation.

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