Cristian’s story, harvesting food for life in the Andes

Cristian and his family

Cristian, a 33-year-old farmer, lives in a remote Andean village in Peru. To modernise their farming practices, Cristian and other young farmers participated in a development program run by Caritas Australia’s local partner as part of Project Compassion.

- The Record

 With the help of Caritas Huacho, the local partner of Caritas Australia, a new generation of young, mountain farmers are working together to grow and harvest a wide variety of sustainable crops that will provide their families with security and food for life.

Cristian, a 33-year-old farmer, lives in a remote Andean village in Peru. His community lives a traditional life and, until recently, the closest water source to Cristian’s village was more than a kilometre away, so they had no running water and no irrigation for their farms.

For as long as he can remember, Cristian and his family have always relied on rainfall to water their crops. They planted staples like potato, wheat and maize that would be likely to grow, despite unreliable watering, but were unable to sow high-value crops that demand consistent watering.

“My family and community have always worked to make sure we never lacked mountain produce,” says Cristian. “When there were no rains we suffered a lot, because sometimes the fields would not produce. Despite that, we always had some food.”

In an effort to modernise their farming practices, Cristian and 14 other young farmers in his community participated in the Rural Development Program run by Caritas Australia’s local partner, Caritas Huacho.

With materials, capital and training, the program supports farmers and their families in rural areas to establish their own sustainable farms to produce reliable, profitable and long-term crops.

FULL STORY 2015 Project Compassion: Cristian’s Story, harvesting food for life

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