Action plans for the agro-food stakeholders of Andean native grains

Yesterday we finished the last step of the four step futures process where we’ve focused on the development of innovation environments around the Andean native crops. Or more specifically, especially with Andean grains quinoa, kiwicha and kañiwa. During the past two years we’ve worked together with academia, public and private sector organizations and NGOs of the Peruvian and Colombian agro-food sectors. We started in 2017 with a horizon scanning, then developed scenarios until 2030 using tools and methods of futures studies. Once a common scenario for the desirable future of the Peruvian/Colombian agro-food sector had been developed, a road map with a shared vision was created. During this trip myself and the director of Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), Dr. Juha Kaskinen, have together with our local partners helped the sector stakeholders to define action plans on how to achieve the shared vision — what are the various practical steps to be taken, who are the responsible stakeholders, who are the beneficiaries, what are the resources needed etc.

Stakeholders of Andean grains working in groups to develop action plans.

Whereas our FFRC team has been the expert on innovation environments and futures processes, tools and methods, the local experts from companies, universities, ministries and NGOs are the experts of the Andean native crops. To me personally this has been an exciting and interesting experience as I’ve had the privilege work with the experts of the sector and learn about the Andean native crops and of the so called “super foods” (which by the way is just a marketing term), their nutritional properties, the development challenges and opportunities of the sector. It has been a mutual learning experience for us and I hope this is only a beginning for a long term process among the stakeholders and between FFRC and the stakeholders in the partner countries. In fact, many of the stakeholders have been interested to apply the tools and methods in their own provinces together with the provincial stakeholders. We are thus planning to share a guide with the stakeholders on how to take the process further in their provinces using the same tools and methods as we’ve covered during this futures process.

Around thirty representatives from ministries, companies, NGOs and academia participated in the workshop to develop action plans for the innovation environment around Andean grains in Peru over the next three years.

The results of the last workshops are yet to be analyzed and published, but some of the key topics mentioned by the Peruvian expert groups were related eg. to the support and strengthening of the producer organizations, development of the value chains, commercialization, the use and improvement of certified seeds, development of innovation agendas, new products based on quinoa, and increased local consumption of Andean grains. The final results of the futures process will be published by October 2019. The first publication covering the two first steps of the futures process will be published in May in FFRC e-book series.

Project manager, Hanna Lakkala