Hunger and poverty are disruptive agents in a community, negatively affecting health and social well being, such as detrimental migration to the city. Our motivation for the Altiplano Tapacari project is to reduce the injustice of hunger and poverty. The Altiplano Tapacari project is based on our successfully completed Altiplano Chuño project. The Tapacarí project has the same objective to reduce hunger and poverty among the Aymara on the Bolivian Altiplano. This project too receives financial assistance from CIDA. Approximately 400 families or 2,000 people participate in the project.
With our funding our local consultant/partner AGRUCO helps the farming families to improve their cultivation methods of potatoes, quinua and cañahua. The farmers learn: - to improve crop rotation in an 8 year fallow cycle to replenish the soil and reduce soil borne plagues, - to improve the genetic quality of the seeds, - to increase bio-diversity, - better seeding, natural fertilizing and harvesting practices in the field, - improved plague control with organic means, - improved facilities for storing the produce and the seeds. The methods are endogenous and ecological to strengthen sustainability and soil conservation. All measures are developed in co-operation with the farming families. Women are important decision makers within the family. Their involvement in the project will encourage sustainability of the learned methods. As was demonstrated with the Chuño project these improvements substantially increase the quantity and the quality of the crops. There will be less hunger and poverty among the indigenous people of the Altiplano, leading to a better quality of life for these poorest of the poor, with less socially de-stabilizing migration to the city.