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Publication | 17 August 2021

Investing in rural households through community promoters: The Haku Wiñay/noa jayatai programme in Peru

Global Food and Nutrition Security

Haku Wiñay/Noa Jayatai (“Let’s grow together” in the Quechua and ShipiboConibo languages respectively) is one of the few government programmes that work with poor rural households in subsistence agriculture. Through implementing community projects composed of training and technical assistance packages aimed at improving production techniques, as well as household organzation and financial inclusion, the programme seeks economic inclusion of these households by improving their access to markets. Training packages are implemented by local promoters called Yachachiqs (“The one who knows and teaches”), who are selected and hired by the community for a three-year period to develop community-based projects funded by the government’s Cooperation Fund for Social Development (FONCODES). This study seeks to provide further knowledge about how programme developed human capital, complementing existing literature on the programme impacts. Data were collected via structured interviews with key informants, mainly Yachachiqs, from the two poorest regions in Peru, Cajamarca and Huancavelica. Major findings are that, even though Yachachiqs are known and selected by the community to implement the community projects, it takes significant effort, time and resources for Yachachiqs to be viewed as trustworthy by programme participants and thus guarantee their participation in the programme. Also, although some positive economic impacts are reported by interviewees, the major improvements valued by programme participants is household organization and healthy practices such as hand washing and water boiling, as well as the installation of safe cookstoves. Income increases, as reported by interviewees and other studies, come mainly from higher yields and lower costs of production. Key features that guarantee the success of the programme are the active participation of the community in the design and implementation of the community projects, as well as the simplicity and low cost of development techniques transferred by Yachachiqs.