Lutheran World Relief Inc.

01/18/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/18/2024 14:19

Lutheran World Relief received $2.3 million to promote specialty cacao farming in Peru’s VRAEM regio...

Cacao growing in the VRAEM region of Peru.

Lutheran World Relief received $2.3 million to promote specialty cacao farming in Peru's VRAEM region

  • Jan 18, 2024

BALTIMORE -- With the generous support of the American people, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded Lutheran World Relief $2.3 million to implement a three-year economic development program in Peru called "Transforming the VRAEM: The Land of Fine Flavor Cacao" or "Transformando el VRAEM: La Tierra del Cacao Fino de Aroma."

The Transforming the VRAEM: The Land of Fine Flavor Cacao program accelerates the economic growth of the Valle de los Rios Apurimac, Ene y Mantaro (VRAEM) region of Peru by strengthening the capacities of its farmers to grow, process and sell high quality cacao and other legal crops while elevating the region's status as a sought-after cacao producer. "The VRAEM may be a difficult area to live and work in, but farmers can profit greatly from the region's desirable, fine cacao that help the crop sell at premium prices, both domestically and internationally," explains Eduardo Contreras, Lutheran World Relief's Peru Country Director. "Through participation in this project, VRAEM farmers interested in producing fine cacao will receive climate-smart agricultural and post-harvest processing training and resources as well as support in accessing export markets and obtaining higher prices for their crops."

The Transforming the VRAEM project contributes to USAID's objective of expanding economic development in Peru and builds on Lutheran World Relief's decades-long commitment to strengthening cacao value chains around the world. Lutheran World Relief will continue collaborating with its established local partner - the women-led cooperative Qori Warmi - to ensure women and youth are an integral part of the project's success. Additionally, the program will work with two new local organizations, Quinacho and Cacao VRAE, to extend programming. Environmental considerations will also be baked into the project with context and climate smart agricultural practices that have an overall positive impact on the landscape and with traceability technology that closely monitors crop expansion activities to prevent deforestation. By fostering climate resilient agriculture landscapes and supporting a sustainable cacao value chain, Lutheran World Relief is committed to advancing the productivity and wellbeing of farmers and their communities in the VRAEM for the long-term.


For more information, please contact Muhammad Tahir, Sr. Media Relations Manager, Corus International, [email protected].