“We are all better, the families, the children. If there were no Aliados project, we wouldn’t have anything at all; we wouldn’t have made it. Thanks to the project, we have a tub, table and molds; we have bought many things,” says Gustavo Quito, a cheese maker from Junín.
To make progress a reality in the poorest areas of Peru’s rural highlands is a key objective of ALIADOS (Support to Productive Rural Partnerships in the Highlands), a program of the Ministry of Agriculture implemented with US$ 20 million in World Bank financing.
This program partially subsidizes the establishment of rural businesses and community development projects in 43 districts of the central highlands.
“When we see our cuyes (guinea pigs) in every home, we our living our dream,” says Telesforo Torres, who raises cuyes in Santa Ana de Ragán, Pasco.
Beneficiaries are fully responsible for managing these initiatives. In addition to co-financing, they receive technical assistance for their productive activities.
Producers can use a part of their earnings to expand their activities, thereby contributing to the sustainability of their businesses.
Juana Ventura, a noodle manufacturer in Apurimac, says: “Before, our children didn’t go to school; now they go to school, to universities, some even attend private ones. We’re doing better than before. That’s why I get so emotional…”
Besides contributing to their personal development and strengthening their self-esteem, producers benefit from applying for program financing because it gives them a chance to identify the needs and challenges they must overcome to make their community grow.