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Sustainability 2014, 6(3), 1283-1312; doi:10.3390/su6031283
Article

A Holistic Approach to Enhance the Use of Neglected and Underutilized Species: The Case of Andean Grains in Bolivia and Peru

1
, 2,* , 2
, 1
, 3
 and 4
1 Bioversity International, Via dei Tre Denari 472/a, Maccarese 00057, Italy 2 Bioversity International, Regional Office for the Americas, Recta Cali-Palmira Km. 17-CIAT, P.O. Box 6713, Cali, Colombia 3 Fundación PROINPA, Calle Américo Vespucio 538, Piso 3, Zona Sopocachi, Cajón Postal 1078, La Paz, Bolivia 4 Centro de Investigación de Recursos Naturales y Medio Ambiente—CIRNMA, Parque Industrial Salcedo, Mz N, Lotes 11–12, Puno, Peru
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2013 / Revised: 20 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
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Abstract

The IFAD-NUS project, implemented over the course of a decade in two phases, represents the first UN-supported global effort on neglected and underutilized species (NUS). This initiative, deployed and tested a holistic and innovative value chain framework using multi-stakeholder, participatory, inter-disciplinary, pro-poor gender- and nutrition-sensitive approaches. The project has been linking aspects often dealt with separately by R&D, such as genetic diversity, selection, cultivation, harvest, value addition, marketing, and final use, with the goal to contribute to conservation, better incomes, and improved nutrition and strengthened livelihood resilience. The project contributed to the greater conservation of Andean grains and their associated indigenous knowledge, through promoting wider use of their diversity by value chain actors, adoption of best cultivation practices, development of improved varieties, dissemination of high quality seed, and capacity development. Reduced drudgery in harvest and postharvest operations, and increased food safety were achieved through technological innovations. Development of innovative food products and inclusion of Andean grains in school meal programs is projected to have had a positive nutrition outcome for targeted communities. Increased income was recorded for all value chain actors, along with strengthened networking skills and self-reliance in marketing. The holistic approach taken in this study is advocated as an effective strategy to enhance the use of other neglected and underutilized species for conservation and livelihood benefits.
Keywords: holistic; value chain approach; neglected and underutilized species (NUS); Andean grains; quinoa; cañahua; amaranth; Bolivia; Peru holistic; value chain approach; neglected and underutilized species (NUS); Andean grains; quinoa; cañahua; amaranth; Bolivia; Peru
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Padulosi, S.; Amaya, K.; Jäger, M.; Gotor, E.; Rojas, W.; Valdivia, R. A Holistic Approach to Enhance the Use of Neglected and Underutilized Species: The Case of Andean Grains in Bolivia and Peru. Sustainability 2014, 6, 1283-1312.

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