Organic Production Center Kusi Ñan – Feliz Camino – Happy Path
Kusi Ñan’s mission is to be efficient in and support rural agriculture through the wisdom of our ancestral Andean practices, which hold the solutions to ensuring global food security.
The project began in July 2013 with a group of students from the 2012 Kusi Kawsay graduating class. Kusi Ñan means path of joy in Quechua, and is the name of their graduating class. The young group who decided to start the agriculture project chose this name for their business, and created their own logo. Being our most recent project, and still at its very beginning phase, we aspire to accompany this committed group of young adults to develop the tools to be successful with their own social venture, and understand what it entails to become entrepreneurs with their cultural heritage and values as key components of their business. This valuable project, rooted in the Andean culture, honors their rich ancestral agrarian heritage and is committed to producing natural and organic products. Currently they have successfully started a productive permaculture garden full of organic produce sold to local restaurants and individuals, as well as traditionally farming Andean crops, such as corn, quinoa, and chia. They provide the healthy snack at Kusi Kawsay Andean School, and plan to coordinate agrarian activities with the students. They are organizing personal development, business and agriculture training programs, and are developing organic products, as well as cultural exchange programs and agro tourism activities. They face many difficulties in the initial phase of start up and need support to succeed. Donations of money, materials, and in kind services are critical at this point in time. Once they become self-sufficient and grow into a successful business, they will designate a percentage to sustain Kusi Kawsay Andean School.
About the Land
The land of the Kusi Ñan Farm has been revitalized. The plot belongs to a Pisac family that lives in the city of Cusco. Because they could not tend to their land, it became the local garbage dumping ground. The families agreed that they would significantly lower the rent of land if Kusi Ñan cleans it up, implement an irrigation system and maintain the property. The first months, the alumni spent cleaning and revitalizing the entire space. The community was so used to tossing their garbage onto this property that it took some time to reverse this behavior. Once the land was cared for, the irrigation system was put into place and the soil was replaced, the planting began. Using ancient Andean knowledge of agriculture and local seeds along with being trained, mentored and facilitated by farmers of the community, growing healthy nutritious organic food finally took root.
Environmental education has been a vital asset not only from the community members to the alumni but also amongst the alumni themselves and from Kusi Ñan to the students of Kusi Kawsay who find hope and solutions in the project along with the invaluable result of tackling malnutrition rates at the school.
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