Presence in the country:
Women improved their professional and/or life skills through empowerment, capacity building or income generating activities
Ecuador is a small South American country with abundant natural resources and a rich ethnic and cultural diversity. It is a middle-income country with a strong economic dynamism, even though one-third of the population still lives in poverty. Ecuador also has an agricultural sector that operates at two speeds. On the one hand is the dominant export-oriented agricultural model with negative environmental and social impacts, and then there is smallholder farming, which focuses more on feeding Ecuadorians. Smallholder farming faces challenges in terms of access to land, water, credit, and markets and does not receive much support from the government.
AVSF has been working with smallholder and indigenous organizations since 1983 to develop innovations in the sustainable management of natural resources and rural areas and in better promoting smallholder products. By combining local projects that support smallholder organizations and their networks with national projects in research and training, AVSF assists in the development of public policy that supports smallholder farming.
AVSF is active in the Pasto region in northern Ecuador (bordering with Colombia), in the Andean region (Riobamba and Pichincha provinces) and in the coast (Esmeraldas and Manabí provinces).
What we do:
- Defending access to natural resources for smallholder families and strengthening methods of sustainable management and production;
- Construction or rehabilitation of irrigation systems managed by smallholder communities in the Andes;
- Supporting smallholder farms in transitioning to agro-ecology and organic farming;
- Promoting integration of smallholder farmers into markets;
- Strengthening cooperatives of milk, cheese, and fruit producers in the local market and strengthening cooperatives of quinoa and cocoa producers in the international market within the framework of fair trade;
- Assisting in the creation of a national authority within the Ecuadorian Ministry of Agriculture for managing short supply chains;
- Helping organizations of smallholders involved in fair trade gain better recognition from the government;
- Reconstrucion of agriculture infrastructures after the earthquake.