Lima (Agenzia Fides) - Two years after the catastrophe caused by the environmental phenomenon "El Niño" (see Fides, 23/05/2017), with rains, floods and landslides that caused thousands of victims, the small agricultural producers of the localities of Callahuanca and Barbablanca, in Huarochiri (north of Lima), can reap the first fruits of reconstruction. We are talking about 50 producers who are part of the "DAR Callahuanca" project, promoted by the Caritas of Peru, which organized the XXVI "Chirimoya Festival", held in Callahuanca on 27 and 28 April.
The Chirimoya, Annona cherimola, is a plant belonging to the Annonaceae family. Originally from the Andean highlands of Peru, it also grows in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, California, Florida, southern Africa and some Mediterranean countries.
"We are working hard in business management, to strengthen the quality of the product, to standardize the pulp and launch a new production, the chirimoya nectar", says Santiago Pardo, at the head of the DAR Callahuanca business project, in the note sent to Fides. "The goal we are trying to achieve is the sustainability of the project, producers begin to negotiate directly with customers. Now we are launching the chirimoya nectar, aiming at the regional and national market", he adds.
"Thanks to the project we have improved crop management and we have a better fruit, as well as nectar. We can work together thanks to Caritas. I really like this initiative because they teach us to produce a better quality of chirimoya", confirms Jessica Villanueva Fuentes, also a member of the group.
The "DAR Callahuanca" project was born in November 2017 as an initiative of Caritas with the support of the Enel company, to encourage activities aimed at promoting the sustainable development of the population affected by the natural phenomenon, so that it had its own income in the short and medium term.
This is not the only project Caritas carries out in Peru. In Cusco, more than 500 indigenous families participated in the project "Agricultural and environmental development to improve food security", an initiative to tackle climate change in the region, a recognized tourist area of the country, with the sponsorship of Spanish Caritas since 2016.
The project improved the quality of life of the inhabitants, who were living in extreme poverty, in the district of Ccatcca, in the province of Quispicanchi, through "sowing and harvesting with a new method for water use, reforestation and agricultural development for food security". In less than 3 years the project has strengthened the capacities of local government and social organizations in the context of climate change, according to what the Caritas of Peru tells Fides. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 9/5/2019)