L’Albero della Vita wants to promote the role of women, pushing for them to be involved in the administrative side of tarwi production. The women from these communities participate in the family economy, both by doing agricultural work and by looking after the family, the home and the children.

Already known and appreciated in the Pre-Hispanic era, tarwi is a local variety of lupin grown by communities in the Andean highlands in the Peruvian province of Huaylas, particularly in the Caraz, Pueblo Libre and Pamparomas districts. Other species struggle here due to the poor soil. The lupin is cultivated for domestic consumption, with the beans grown and prepared by families, or exchanged thanks to mechanisms of reciprocity that guarantee the security of the community’s food production system.

The aim of the project is to improve the economy of Andean families living in the Huaylas province, strengthening women’s socio-economic role in the production and commercialisation of the local product, tarwi, i.e. a leguminous plant rich in proteins and oils, originating in the Peruvian sierra.

The project actions follow three main axes.

-The first component consists in the production and commercialisation of the product at a regional and national level. In this case, the project will support and organise activities to create and foster tarwi’s production and commercialisation circuits, guaranteeing the product’s quality and eco-labelling.

-The second component of the project refers to training activities on the consolidation of a self-employed and income-generating culture favouring local economic and sustainable development.

-A third component is the international promotion of the product: one of the key activities of this result was the promotion of the product during EXPO 2015 in Italy and of the eco-sustainable development model designed for its production.

The legume tarwi is an exceptionally nutritious food due to its protein content (between 41% and 51%), higher than soy beans, making it an ideal nutritional alternative when meat consumption is limited or for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. It also contains 28.2% carbohydrates, 7.1% fiber, 15% calcium and 10% iron, making it a particularly good addition to the diet of children or pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Promoting the production and sale of tarwi means offering these small-scale producers—women, men and families—the chance to generate a higher income while promoting sustainable agriculture and protecting the local area’s environment, gastronomy and culture.

“Mujeres andinas en camino” project has been financed by Fondo Italo Peruano (FIP).

Beneficiaries: 120 peasant women and 280 peasant men of the intervention area, 100 civil servants and public employees of the Provincial municipality of Huaylas and district municipalities.