The rural areas of Cusco, Ica, and La Libertad are among the most underdeveloped regions in Peru. Much of the indigenous population lives in abject poverty. The initiative Sierra Productiva combines age-old knowledge in this cultural area with new findings, helping small farmers develop a stable subsistence economy while opening up opportunities for cooperative farming.

The program consists of 18 simple but effective technologies along with ideas for their application – from irrigation and land management to energy supply – all developed and implemented in collaboration with the farmers. The result is an increase in agricultural yields. The program also develops strategies for processing and marketing the products grown on the farmers’ small landholdings and initiates partnerships.

Sierra Productiva was conceived by the Instituto para una Alternativa Agraria (IAA) and has been implemented since 2011 in collaboration with partners including Siemens Stiftung, which focuses primarily on the areas of water and renewable energies. Nearly 500 families participate in the project.

  • Sierra Productiva
    The image gallery shows some of the different innovations implemented in the Sierra Productiva project
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  • Greenhouses
    In greenhouses, fruit and vegetables are grown for the families’ own consumption, but also for sale.
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  • Drip irrigation
    Drip irrigation is a good way to water plants in the garden without consuming too much water.
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  • Agroforestry
    Agroforestry (combined forestry and agriculture) creates optimal growing conditions as well as extra income for farmers through timber harvesting.
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  • Organic fertilizer
    Organic fertilizer is produced to help achieve high crop yield in a natural way.
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  • Fish
    Fish farming helps people to feed their families and increase their income.
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  • Kitchen renovation
    Kitchens are renovated to avoid smoke in enclosed spaces.
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  • Solar kitchens
    Small solar-powered kitchens facilitate meal preparation while producing electricity from renewable energies.
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  • Hot water
    Solar thermal heating systems are installed on roofs to produce hot water.
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  • Biogas systems
    Biogas systems are also installed for generating electricity.
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  • Dry toilets
    Dry toilets are installed to tackle the problem of the lack of sanitation, which often leads to serious diseases.
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