Strategies to develop market access that contribute to resilience in the Bolivian highlands: Case study: PMCA and BAP for chuño and tunta

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The study evaluates how the Bolivian Andean Platform (BAP), under the philosophy of the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) reduces transaction costs for native products elaborated by small-scale farmers in three communities in Umala-Bolivia. At a first stage, the study identifies how local native potato varieties' programs (NPVP) developed by the CIP-Altagro project empower farmers to be able to participate in the BAP. It also identifies the barriers foreseen by those who do not participate in NPVP. At a second stage, it analyzes which transaction costs are reduced for farmers who participate in the BAP. It also identifies incentives within the platform that motivate market chain actors' participation. To accomplish the objectives, the authors use qualitative methods to develop a multiple embedded case study, and an empirical study under the Pattern-matching logic (Yin, 1994). For the case study, personal interviews are conducted with all stakeholders of the BAP. For the empirical study, the qualitative analysis consist on the selection of families that produce chuño and tunta for commercial purposes from the SANREM and Altagro baseline surveys. From this point forward, the subsequent qualitative analyses consist on the selection of families who participate in NPVP from those who do not, for further separated interviews. The results indicate, on the one hand, that NPVP benefit producers' participation in the BAP by promoting collective action, sustainable livelihoods and capacity of agency. The barriers to participate in NPVP are mainly due to emigration and consequent less labor available at the household. On the other hand, the BAP reduces transaction costs in the market chain, and promotes capacity of agency and market involvement for small-scale producers. However, the BAP lacks incentives to motivate farmer's participation, and offers a price that does not pay off producers' efforts for higher quality of chuño and tunta.

Chuño, Tunta, PMCA, Bap, Bolivian Highlands, Resilience, Ecosystem
Presented at the SANREM CRSP LTR-4 Annual Meeting, Puno, Perú, 24-27 April 2008
Presented at the 2008 SANREM CRSP Annual Meeting, Los Baños, Philippines 26-29 May 2008