- The event disclosed the research advances of the university community of the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM) and various institutions.
On -the last day of the research week at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM), an event that brought together prominent researchers and special guests, Dr. Hugo Villachica, director of PERU-Hub, presented a summary of the project and highlighted its important presence as an organization dedicated to the use of research to do extension, specifically in the Peruvian Amazon.
Dr. Villachica specified that the impact zone of the project is in the #SanMartin Region; and that work is being done with one objective: to establish a hub that uses research results to generate agricultural, economic and social development in rural communities, promoting the sustainable management of resources and incorporating women and native communities into value chains.
Other specific objectives are the institutional strengthening of La Agraria, as well as the increase of knowledge and technology transfer in the #SanMartín Region. Although the project has a duration of four years (PERU-Hub has just started the second year of implementation), Dr. Villachica sees these objectives as a challenge.
#PERUHub, a project financed by #USAID, in alliance with international institutions (Purdue University, The University of Oklahoma, Utah State University and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT), has developed strategies to achieve the proposed goals. Among these strategies are using the knowledge, information and technology available to adapt it to the real conditions of farmers; innovate with products that have accessible technology, with added value and without competitive disadvantage; transfer technologies that are within the reach of producers, easy to adapt and copy; in addition to generating new knowledge through thesis research.
As for the results that can be seen at the Instituto Regional de Desarrollo (IRD) – Pucayacu (UNALM’s farm in Tarapoto where the PERU-Hub operations center is located), Dr. Villachica reported that it is expected to harvest passion fruit in two years, as well as start the processing of milk production. In four years the growth of soursop, cinnamon and the growth of grasslands is expected. In five years the growth of seedlings with new species is expected.
On the other hand, the creation of a modern agro-industrial plant in the Pucayacu farm will allow the beneficiaries of the project (small farmers and entrepreneurs) to learn how to process passion fruit juice for export. This service plant will have the purpose of generating new income for economic and commercial development. The inauguration of a modern milking parlor is also contemplated.
“We are not going to generate white elephants. Farmers will have new crop options, they will learn to harvest, they will enter new markets, improving their profitability. They will be able to develop their capacities and enter with associations. The income generated by the new activities at IRD Pucayacu will allow economic sustainability, as well as continue with research to solve technical problems that may arise in the future”, explained Dr. Villachica.
Finally, the director of PERU-Hub said that the purpose of the project is to work to consolidate UNALM as a leading institution in the generation and transfer of technology in tropical agriculture.