Market and Livelihoods programme

This is an archive page. For the most recent information, please see our main page on agricultural production and market access in Latin America.

Agricultural production, agroprocessing and markets

The incomes and livelihoods of poor people will improve where they are able to use technologies, and their skills, knowledge, networks and resources to enter into and adapt to market systems that work effectively and fairly.

Practical Action-trained kamayoqs looking after their guinea pigsWe train farmers as promoters using methods adapted to the local culture; thus, peasant promoters are trained in technology transfer, development, and adjustment so that these technologies may be used in small agroindustry and forestry-related micro businesses. Technical assistance and training in technologies, business management and commercialization is also provided to small agroindustrial units; and support is also provided for the establishment of productive chains.

We also promote the use of improved practices in terms of the management of water for irrigation, models of more efficient and egalitarian entrepreneurial farmer organizations, the strengthening of rural and urban micro businesses, and training in the elaboration and commercialization of farming and forestry products.


Since 1997 Practical Action has been working with resource-poor farming communities in the Peruvian Andes, exploring alternative approaches to extension service provision. The model that developed is based on the training of local farmer-to-farmer extension agents known as Kamayoq. Practical Action established a Kamayoq training facility and to date over 140 Kamayoq have been trained of whom 20 per cent are women. More ...

Participatory video

We are trialling the use of participatory video. This approach hands over the control of making a video, from initial idea through to filming and editing, to community members. Insight, an organisation with much experience in this area, was commissioned to engage with the local community to produce a video and capture the learning from this process. They will be producing a training kit which will enable team leaders and project managers to follow this approach. It is hoped to replicate this in other countries as a means of directly capturing local knowledge and expertise. More ...

List of production and access to markets projects in Latin America | Project news | Programme history

Main achievements to date

  • Developed methods to transfer appropriate agro-processing technologies which have allowed improving the living conditions of small producers. We are one of the leading organizations in the use of extension methodologies for rural promoters.
  • Reinforced the technical capacities of national schools and development organizations (NGOs, education centers, and technical institutes) in the area of agroprocessing.
  • Comprehensive work in productive chains associated with products such as milk, coffee, native potatoes, alpacas, grains and forests.
  • Promoted the Rural Agroindustry Network (REDAR) as a space for exchanging information and sharing experiences at the national level (with 41 members) and at the Latin American level through its 15 member networks.
  • Improved irrigation infrastructure in 40 peasant communities, with beneficiaries including over 2,996 peasant families.
  • Provided technical assistance and promoted the adoption of improved technologies among over 8,150 peasant families. This has been achieved by the training of 320 rural promoters (using peasant to peasant education model).
  • Established the Institute of promotion for water management (Iproga) to improve the management of water for irrigation purposes. This organization is integrated by 33 individual members, 16 institutional members, and two honorary members.
  • Developed appropriate methodologies for the sustainable management of forest in the Peruvian Amazon region.
  • Reforestation of more than 3,000 hectares and forest management. 50 rural promoters provide technical assistance in forest management.
  • 200 teachers have improved their capacities for delivering environmentally-oriented education.
  • 68 publications (books, manuals, technical sheets) related to food processing, irrigation, farming for rural communities.
  • Creation of an specialized information system for the Peruvian Dairy Sector:
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