Integrated Biodiversity Monitoring and ‘Farm-to-Fork’ E-commerce to Conserve Ancestral Landraces




© International Potato Center (CIP)


In a nutshell

This project works towards an integrated digital advisory solution linking potato biodiversity monitoring with citizen science. Through a crowd-sourced application for the monitoring of potato landraces and an e-commerce platform we will create a self-sustaining value chain network. This way, we connect farmers, youth, teachers, technicians, policy makers, and consumers, provide access to high-value markets and sustain agrobiodiversity through timely conservation intelligence.


Laudation by the jury

Crop biodiversity is in global peril but in the high Andes farmers still conserve in situ thousands of potatoes varieties. However, the conservation status of this unique diversity remains largely undocumented. Varietal diversity is an agroecological ‘insurance policy’ that helps farmers adapt to challenges like pests, disease, and climate change. Monitoring systems built on local knowledge are needed to make informed decisions and tap new markets.


The consortium’s approach to an integrated advisory consists of app-based citizen science to track the conservation status of varietal diversity, a direct e-commerce linking farmers and consumers and a wiki platform for farmers.


"This innovative and novel approach digitally connects a diverse network of stakeholders to conserve, monitor and value 12,000 years of crop evolution managed by farmers. The inclusion of consumers will further support their interest and participation in the biodiversity conservation efforts."


This agrobiodiversity is a cornerstone of agroecology, providing resilience and sustainability. Ancestral potato varieties, grown in long rotation cycles, offer dietary diversity, resistance to stress, and a high-quality product for short circuit markets that link farmers and consumers. Given the importance of agrobiodiversity to assure climate change adaptation, but also develop better options to save the critical potatoes varieties, the mapping and registering of that germplasm for conservation in situ and use in breeding programs as well as for production cannot be over-emphasized.


In agroecology, intergenerational learning is essential. Digital advising offers a bridge for information sharing between elders and youth, connecting old (indigenous) knowledge in new (digital) formats.


The tools and approaches developed for this project have potential beyond potatoes. The proposed smartphone and crowdsourcing tools are novel for both the e-commerce and the conservation status monitoring, merging modern tools and citizen science for the benefit of farmers and consumers.


Voices from the field

The consortia were invited to share impressions and stories from the project sites.

Back to the Future: Revaluing ancestral varieties through digital innovation


Fifteen-year-old Yedali Reyes Chavez lives with her mother, Alda, and her grandparents in the Andean highland community of Bella Vista near Pasco, Peru. Alda is a member of AGUAPAN (Asociación de Guardianes de Papa Native del Centro de Peru) and a long-serving “potato guardian.”

“I inherited the passion to collect potatoes from my father. When he got old and couldn't do it anymore, I cared for our family varieties."


At school, Yedali participated in the citizen science pilot to monitor the conservation status of Andean varieties.

“We used the VarScout app to explore different potatoes with help from my mother and grandparents. Now I can do my part.”


Víctor Anco is the 25-year-old son of Víctor Anco Chirinos: a widow, “potato guardian” and leader in AGUAPAN. Victor Jr. grew up in the rugged highlands of Caruya but moved to Lima five years ago to study at César Vallejo University.
Lima is a challenging place, but Victor Jr. always believed his father’s potato heritage could be a business opportunity. When Miski Papa e-commerce began, Victor Jr. volunteered to promote the business in Lima. The first batch of 2022 arrived on April 19 and sold out in just three days.

“In the age of digital networks, there is no excuse for a young entrepreneur from the rural areas not to find ways to create value from biodiversity.”


People are taking note of this integrated advisory approach. Peru’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environment wants to use it for monitoring diversity and innovating intercultural education. Yedali hopes that her mother’s participation in AGUAPAN will let her become the first family member to attend college. Meanwhile, Victor Jr. has parlayed this success into some impressive connections: the famous Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez from the world-renowned El Central restaurant has bought Miski Papa and wants to explore a regular supply.


Reaching into the past to create value today and conserving agrobiodiversity for tomorrow!

Main applicant

The International Potato Center (CIP) is a research-for-development organization based in Lima, and is driven to deliver innovative science-based solutions to enhance access to affordable nutritious food, foster inclusive sustainable business and employment growth and drive climate resilience of root and tuber agri-food systems. CIP coordinates the landrace baseline and register development while ​supporting the urban e-commerce and leading the integrated platform development and policy linkages.


Consortium members

Grupo Yanapai, which means "Help" in Quechua, is a Peruvian non-profit association of interdisciplinary researchers who focus their activities on promoting research and development processes, fostering innovation and the exchange of experiences and knowledge to improve the management and handling of resources in order to achieve sustainable agroecological systems. Grupo Yanapai coordinates the training of farmers, youth and teachers​ and provides support to custodian farmers.


Asociación de Guardianes de Papa Nativa (AGUAPAN) is an association of "guardians" concerned to preserve the varietal diversity of the Andean potato in central Peru and ensuring the opportunity for its members to improve their welfare through biodiversity conservation. AGUAPAN organizes the supply of landrace mixtures for marketing (quality, quantity, traceability) and involves schools.


Resonanz Group is a company specialised in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence or the Internet of Things (IoT) and in providing advisory services, ideation and venture execution. Resonanz Group develops the app​, advices on e-commerce and traceability, as well as on integrated platform development.


The University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) offers quality higher education, which combines research and the development of cutting-edge technological solutions and is committed to social needs and sustainability. UTEC is a higher education institution dedicated to training young people in engineering, computer science and business. UTEC appears in the Indecopi ranking of research patent applications by Peruvian universities (1990-2021).

The other finalists

Digitally empowered Youth as Agroecological Change Agents

This project is aiming to digitally empower rural youth as providers of agroecological advisory in small-scale potato farming in India.


Snakes and Ladders on the way to Agroecology

This project aims at developing a concept for the transmission (and repetition) of agroecological practices in a lively and conducive environment for smallholder farming families in India and Tanzania.


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The Assessment was made by the Expert jury and does not reflect GIZ´s or BMZ´s opinion or success estimation.