potato power

Trias wants to create more opportunities for potato farmers in the Andes so they can have a higher income and more food security.

Potato farmers from the Andes

Location: Andes region, South America
3 years (2020-2022)
160,000 euro
Province of West Flanders, Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGD)
Implementing partners: ILVO, HoGent, Waltson and VTI Torhout

Empowering Andean Farmers for a Sustainable Future

Potato farming is a vital source of income and food security for many communities in the Andes. However, many farmers struggle to make ends meet, which impacts their families and the entire rural community. In order to change this, we’ve brought together a diverse group of experts, including researchers, private sector leaders, and civil society advocates, to work with five potato cooperatives in Peru and Ecuador.

Our goal is to support these cooperatives in four key areas:

1. Inclusion
We want to make sure that the cooperatives are inclusive and listen to the voices of women and youth in their organizations. This will help ensure that everyone has a say in decisions that affect them.

2. Access to markets
We stimulate market-orientation and market access for cooperative members. This includes providing services related to marketing and efficient production so they can meet the demands of the international market.

3. Sustainable finances
We’re working to strengthen the organizational sustainability and financial durability of the cooperatives. By building their capacity to manage resources effectively, we’re helping ensure their long-term success.

4. Advocacy work
Finally, we want to empower the cooperatives to represent potato farmers and advocate for a more inclusive society. By supporting their voice, we stimulate them to effect positive change not just for themselves, but for their entire community

Our efforts are already having an impact. In Peru, for example, we’re working with ILVO and HoGent to optimize the semi-industrial process of freeze-drying potatoes with a small factory built by one of the cooperatives. In Ecuador, we’re partnering with the private company Waltson and Flemish technical school VTI Torhout to help another cooperative construct and manage native potato crisps packaging machinery.