In order to show the achievements obtained during the first two years of the project, PERU-Hub carried out a series of activities with the participation of the team from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the project’s funding agency. These activities took place at the IRD Pucayacu estate, the project’s center of operations in Tarapoto, San Martin region.
The USAID team in charge of the Bringing Research to Impact for Development, Global Engagement, and Utilization – BRIDGE U program (which PERU-Hub is a part of), was formed by Siena Fleischer (top representative), Ashley Heiber, Carol Zurawski and Mike Glauser. The USAID Peru Mission was also visited by Maria Paz Montoya (Project Management Specialist Office of Sustainable Development), Florencia Trama (Mission Environmental Officer) and Karina Herrera (Development Program Specialist – Private Sector Engagement).
The visitors toured PERU-Hub’s experimental plant nursery. Here they learned about the progress made in the development of alternative crops such as soursop, passion fruit, camu camu, vanilla, cinnamon, macadamia and fine aroma cacao.
Other important activities were the inauguration of the Milking Room and the Food Processing Center. This center will have two processing lines: dairy and fruit; initially it will work with soursop and passion fruit pulp.
Both facilities, which are 100% financed with resources from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM), will be available for the PERU-Hub project when the infrastructure construction is completed.
An irrigation system was also inaugurated, which will allow the irrigation of PERU-Hub’s crops in the Pucayacu IRD. This work is financed by USAID.
It is worth mentioning the important participation in these visits of the USAID Peru Mission to set up a joint work in the establishment of environmental guidelines, as well as to seek strategic alliances with the private and business sector.
These events were presided over by Dr. Américo Guevara Pérez, Rector of Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, who was accompanied by Dr. Héctor Gonzales Mora, Academic Vice Rector and Dr. Patricia Gil Kodaka, Vice Rector of Research.
The USAID staff also visited a cacao plot, where PERU-Hub applies the technique of using biodegradable bags to avoid pests and diseases in the fruits. This technique has been learned by the producers during PERU-Hub’s Field Schools.
Continuing with the agenda of activities, the delegation went to the facilities of the Regional Government of San Martin (GORESAM), where they were received by Darwin del Aguila Solano, manager of Economic Development of that public body. The purpose of the meeting was to involve the regional government in the actions being carried out by PERU-Hub in favor of the producers of the Huallaga Valley.
The USAID and PERU-Hub teams also held a meeting with Dr. Aquilino Garcia Bautista, rector of the National University of San Martin (UNSM), to exchange ideas and improve opportunities for students with their ventures.
During the day’s activities, the components of PERU-Hub made presentations, either in office meetings or in field visits, so that USAID staff could learn about the work they are doing in Tarapoto and in the communities. These meetings were very fruitful and took place in a cordial and pleasant atmosphere.
Finally, Siena Fleischer, senior USAID representative, highlighted the progress of the project and hoped that next year PERU-Hub will continue to meet the established goals, in order to create a center of excellence for the generation and transfer of technology, which will strengthen the knowledge of farmers and producers in the San Martin region.