Guinea Pig Production Chain Improvement

  • Community Growth
  • Business
  • Peru
This project is led by Amy Gaito, a Volunteer from Delaware

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The Guinea Pig Production Chain Improvement and Strengthening Project proposes taking advantage of the existing custom of raising guinea pigs to develop business skills and abilities and, in doing so, increase family income and improve the quality of life in the general population. Through extensive training and personalized advising in advanced breeding techniques, users will improve product quality and reduce animal loss while simultaneously identifying methods to reduce unnecessary breeding costs. An advanced breeding technology along with trainings in business management, marketing and business plan development will allow users to secure access to a profitable market, to create a sophisticated business image, and to adecuately manage their costs and revenues. In addition, user participation in weekly meetings and trainings encourages discipline, leadership, fraternity and the development of habits that contribute to the long-term success of their guinea pig businesses. Finally, the Project Committee will choose a few Pilot Promoters from the project participants that will receive additional training in order to become leaders of their micro-enterprises and communities that are capable of replicating the trainings with other members of the community who did not have the opportunity to participate in this project. The project participants are 30 guinea pig farmers, chosen by the Committee, from the Centro Poblado of Sogos that have demonstrated a high level of interest and commitment and have access to the necessary resources to achieve the expected result.

The project is designed to be sustainable as the community is the driving force behind this project, and the desire to improve the profitability of guinea pig businesses comes directly from the members of the community. With the expectation to participate in agricultural fairs, local events and other market days/sale opportunities, users will be earning a regular income. These earnings that they receive throughout the project will allow participants to continue investing in the improvement of their business when project funds run out. Additionally, one of the goals of the project is to gain access two regional markets, in which the price of guinea pig could double that of the local market. With these profit increases, the beneficiaries will be able to bear the expenses of the business. Also, officially forming business associations will create a team of individuals, united under a common goal, with more enthusiasm and available resources. Working together, they will be able to achieve greater advances in business operations even after the project's closure. In addition, the project's focus on capacity development will encourage long-term behavior change. For example, the formation of the habit of saving will provide participants with economic security and access to credit in the future. Constant support and advising from the technical team will ensure that users fortify their skills and knowledge. In particular, the ability to manage both personal and business finances will allow participants to plan and budget all potential expenses and investments. Finally, the development of Pilot Promoters will ensure the dissemination of skills and knowledge to other members of the community and the district who have not participated in the project so that the benefits will continue.

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