Sumaq Kausay (Quechua for "Living Well)

Case Studies
Agriculture, Food Security, Gender, Nutrition
Action Against Hunger
Latin America & Caribbean
Resource Publication Date:
September, 2013
Content Format:

This is one of 50 Harvesting Nutrition project case studies. Harvesting Nutrition was a contest held in 2012 and 2013 that showcased active projects working to improve the impact of agriculture and/or food security on nutrition outcomes. Co-sponsors were SecureNutrition, Save the Children UK, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Learn More.

Project Description:

​The main objective of the Sumaq Kausay program is to reduce chronic child malnutrition in rural populations in the Peruvian Highlands through the coordinated implementation of 5 components: health and nutrition, water and hygiene, gender and culture, governability and food security. The specific objectives regarding food security are:

a.       To improve agricultural production by carrying out a package of 8 small-scale technologies viable for family production, which are: 1) drip irrigation 2) open-field vegetable gardening 3) pasture production 4) small-scale grain production 5) forestry 6) organic fertilizer 7) poultry raising 8) guinea pig raising.

b.      To promote income generation from sales of excess agricultural production.

c.       To improve food consumption and infant feeding and hygiene practices through culturally adequate educational and communication activities carried out by trained community health volunteers, women leaders and agriculture promoters, in coordination with national health services and local government.

d.       To improve air quality in the home through installing improved stoves to reduce smoke pollution to prevent respiratory illness, and that save resources (firewood).

e.      To develop local capacity for the expansion of small-scale agricultural technologies.

f.        To facilitate the coordination of local government, communities, the health and agriculture sectors, and the National Compensation Fund for Social Development, in order to carry out and expand the agricultural technologies.

Impact of project:

​The main lesson learned was that the implementation strategy for a food security component should be carried out in coordination with strategies for education and communication, local governance, culture and gender. The following process was used:

  • Signing of agreements between Action Against Hunger and local governments, communities, and government funds for development.
  • Visits to sites that implement these technologies with authorities from communities, the health and agriculture sector and local government.
  • Forming of a Local Executive Nucleus in each district to follow the implementation process.
  • Training of beneficiary families.
  • Installation of agricultural technologies at family level
  • Identification of “Yachachiqs”, or farmers that achieve a theoretical and practical understanding of the technologies in order to put them into practice with other families.
  • Creation and strengthening of offices for Agricultural Development Management in the 8 local governments to promote the implementation of the technologies using public funds.
  • Training of the person responsible for Agricultural Development Management and the Agrarian outreach teams.

Why this project is a Good Practice example:

​The following aspects enable the project to reach a better nutritional impact:

  • Incorporation of education activities oriented at families, such as home visits for education and follow-up of practices in the home, carried out by trained community health volunteers, agricultural promoters and women leaders.
  • Implementation of technologies oriented at reducing common childhood illnesses such as respiratory infections and diarrhea, through improved stoves and potable water in the home.
  • Implementation of family vegetable gardens for the production of vegetables with high vitamin A content, such as carrots, spinach, Swiss chard, to reduce the high level of micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Increase in food production for regular family consumption, such as potatoes, barley, wheat, beans and peas in order to reduce or eliminate the periods of food scarcity in the months of December, January and February each year.
  • Promotion of family food consumption practices that reduce the substances that interfere in iron absorption, such as the polyphenols present in herbal teas consumed in high quantity by families.
  • Coordination of actions between the health sector (Vlicas Huaman Micro-network), the agricultural sector (Agrarian Office), rural communities and local governments to improve food and nutrition security by working towards common goals.
  • Public financing of local governments to expand agriculture technologies to other communities and districts.

Impact Evaluation:

Impact evaluation in progress

Lessons Learned:


  • Seasonality can affect the programming of project activities.
  • Visits to successful experiences with local actors in order to observe the efficiency of the production technologies will strengthen their commitment to act in their own regions.
  • Involvement of local government, health and agricultural sectors and communities starting from the design phase contribute to the success of its implementation. 


  • To have a team trained in the implementation of the technologies and in methods for adult education, whose members speak the local language.
  • It is necessary to achieve co-financing from local governments and communities in order to ensure their commitment and responsibility. 


  • Productive technologies have established procedures but can be improved if they include local knowledge.
  • Previously identify the resources of each family to determine the productive technologies to be implemented in each home.
  • Creation of Agricultural Development Management offices in local-level government to guarantee the institutional sustainability and expansion of the productive technologies.


  • For the initial and final project evaluation it is advisable to evaluate a control population to clearly determine the impact of the project. 

Funders: Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), Generalit Valenciana, Gobierno de Navarra

Primary Contact: Alejandro Vargas Vásquez, Technical Coordinator

Country: Peru

Project Dates: April 2012 to June 2014

Interventions: Incorporate explicit nutrition objectives and indicators, Assess the context at the local level, Target the vulnerable and improve equity, Collaborate and coordinate with other sectors, Empower women, Facilitate production diversification, Incorporate nutrition promotion and education,

Target Population: Rural farmers, Children under 3,

Project Stage: Ongoing activities Geographic Coverage: State/Province

Photo: © Edwin Huffman / World Bank