Unión de Organizaciones Campesinas e Indígenas de Cotacachi (UNORCAC, Union of Farmer and Indigenous Organizations of Cotacachi)
The remote communities of Ecuador's inter-Andean valleys have long faced the twin challenges of food insecurity and environmental degradation. Malnutrition affects approximately 40 per cent of the region's population, and farmers receive limited technological and economic support from formal institutions. The Unión de Organizaciones Campesinas e Indígenas de Cotacachi (UNORCAC, Union of Farmer and Indigenous Organizations of Cotacachi) was Founded to address these challenges and turn the relative abundance of rare native crop and fruit species to the advantage of farming communities.
By conserving of a wide variety of native, tuber, root, fruit, cereal and medicinal plant species, the initiative has improved diversity of income and nutrition sources for 3,225 farming families. In addition the initiative has developed value-added processing of local varieties, and 'agro-tourism'.
Equator Prize Winner: 2008
Location: Inter-Andean valleys of northern Ecuador
Beneficiaries: 3,225 families
Biodiversity: Agricultural Biodiversity
Find other Winners' Case Studies in our E-Library