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Rural women of the Guineamayo Microbasin in the District of Socota, Cutervo, Cajamarca, organized in an Association of Producers and Commercializers of Guinea pigs, have improved the social, productive and economic management of guinea pig breeding, which has allowed them to become competitive in the local and regional market and their active participation, in addition to improving their economy and the quality of life of their families.
This is one of the achievements of the project “Organized farmers strengthen the social, economic and productive fabric, and their living conditions in the micro watershed Guineamayo (Cajamarca-Peru)”, which finances “la Caixa” Foundation, and develops Social Promotion Foundation, with the technical support of the Escuela Campesina de Educación y Salud (ESCAES).
Thus, since 2015 initiatives have been promoted that try to solve the deficient social, productive and economic management of the peasants; This situation affects agricultural producers, due to their weak capacity to organize, their disarticulation in the market and their limited knowledge regarding efficient and profitable commercial management. To all this is added the lack of public policies that promote the agricultural development of small producers.
The Association of Producers and Distributors of Cuyes is led by 38 peasant women and comprises a total of 55 members belonging to 6 communities of the District of Socota: Chontas, Cuñanque, Guineamayo, Mangallpa, Minas and La Unión.
Although the economic impact is very positive, what is really significant is the change that arises with the enhancement of the work of rural women.
Reyna Fernandez Martinez, leader, and treasurer of the Association, comments:
“Since I started breeding technically, I can sell my guinea pigs more and more frequently. With this, I can contribute money to my family and that makes me feel good since I can quietly have money for what I need and makes my husband value my work more. Now he voluntarily decides to support me in what I am doing, encourages me to move forward.”
Elvira Hoyos Ruiz, president of this organization, also gives testimony of her experience:
“I always talk with my colleagues and I tell them that it is worthwhile to raise guinea pigs because it is profitable and sustainable. In the different meetings I suggest that we take advantage of the opportunities that the NGO ESCAES has given us, with the project financed by “la Caixa” Foundation and the Social Promotion Foundation, to train us more and improve our upbringing, raise the quality of our animals and get a fixed market where to sell our animals permanently. That’s how we’re working.”
To date, three years after the start of the project, for the 55 members of the Association of Producers and Distributors of Cuyes in the District of Sócota, the profitability of raising guinea pigs is a verifiable fact. The 11,391 commercialized guinea pigs produce an annual income of S /. 284,775 (equivalent to € 81,364), with which each member receives S /. 5,178 (approximately € 1,479).
Another beneficial aspect of guinea pig breeding is its contribution to nutritional improvement for peasant families, especially among children. Eating guinea pig meat at least twice a week, provides them with the proteins and vitamins necessary for their proper development.