AASD is building a farmer education center at EcoHuella Demonstration Farm for ecological farmers to learn and share best practices. A large classroom facilitates exchanges between farmers, chefs, agriculture technicians and international visitors. A kitchen allows workshops on cooking/nutrition and value-added products. Dormitories give visitors a free place to stay. We've constructed the main spaces but seek further funding to complete key infrastructure and furnish the building.
68% of Peru's smallholder farmers are in the Sierra Region where AASD works. Small-scale ecological farmers in the Sacred Valley and surrounding high altitude region have minimal access to extension services that are relevant to their scale, learning styles, and farming systems. The farmer education center will guarantee that farmers and agriculture extension agents have a hub for learning and resource-sharing on topics such as soil fertility, seed saving, or native potatoes.
Completion of the farmer field school learning space will enable us to host farmers, families, chefs, agriculture extension agents and international visitors. The dormitories mean farmers from high altitude communities can join multi-day exchanges while our communal kitchen will host shared meals or workshops on topics such as nutrition and value-added product development. All of this improves practices, incomes, and networks for farming families, resulting in increased pride and longevity.
The long-term goal of the project is to strengthen Andean farming culture. We will continue to offer resources for farmers to become more climate change resilient, productive, and sustainable. A consistent rate of ecological production provides economic stability while combating malnutrition in one of the poorest areas of Peru. Our innovative educational model speaks to farmers' learning styles and emphasizes the value in fusing traditional and modern land management techniques.