Off farm work in the Peruvian Altiplano: Seasonal and geographical considerations for agricultural and development policies


C. Turin

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This poster studies off farm work patterns in the Peruvian Altiplano with the objectives to identify and analyse the implications of seasonal and geographic conditions to improve development and poverty alleviation policies. To do this, survey data collected in 2006 and 2007 in two rural Aymara communities from lakeside and dry puna agro ecological zones was used. It was found that seasonality and spatial location condition their on-farm labor demands but also their off-farm labor availability. Thus, seasonal patterns of off farm work can be different or similar across both lakeside and dry puna agro-ecological zones. Households of both agro-ecological zones go to many of the same places and get involved almost in the same activities, however they do so at different times of the year according to their agricultural calendars. The do not work off farm during the harvest season for agricultural households of lakeside zone and the alpaca birthing season for pastoralist households of dry puna zone, indicating that Altiplano households define their availability of off farm labor according agricultural and cultural activities. Current agricultural development policy focuses on increasing job opportunities in the coastal region. This acts as a pull factor and conflicts with the requirements of their agricultural and traditional practices, favoring the wealthier households that have more resources available. Therefore, agricultural and development policies should consider those patterns when they try to increase job opportunities and improve access to education within the Altiplano region.

Additional Bibliographic Information

Poster presented at the Future Agricultures Consortium International Conference on Seasonality, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 8-10 July 2009

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