ADM: joins Andean Naturals to improve organic production in Bolivia’s Southern Highlands

Chicago / IL. (adm) Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), one of the world’s leading agricultural processors, has joined the Andean Family Farmers (AFF) partnership to support Bolivian quinoa smallholder farmers. Through ADM Cares, its social investment program, the company will provide funding to enable the extension of a greatly needed irrigation project in southern Bolivia.

Around the parched salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, assured access to water at critical times makes a major difference to smallholder quinoa farmers. An irrigation system can double the yield of quinoa per hectare and its value to the farmer, with measurable returns to the community in terms of education, health and sanitation improvements. It offers protection against losses from drought.

Currently AFF team members are working to install irrigation systems that will serve farms in five remote communities. Thanks to the support of ADM Cares, it will be possible to install a further ten systems during 2015 to 2016 in preparation for the 2016/2017 crop cycle.

The cost of each system will be funded by an interest-free loan to each community against delivery of quinoa. With the anticipated increase in crop yield, it will be possible for loans to be repaid within two years, with subsequent proceeds accruing for community benefit, including additional investment in irrigation. The strength of this approach is that it is based on a commercial partnership between AFF and the farmers, rather than simply the transfer of «aid».

As one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and ingredient providers, Chicago-based ADM takes an active role in building the communities in which its 33’000 employees and suppliers live and work. ADM Cares is actively involved in a wide range of projects, including disaster relief in Cote d’Ivoire and Japan, assistance to sustainable soybean farmers in Brazil and waterways clean-up in the USA.

«We are proud to partner with AFF to help improve irrigation and farming conditions for Bolivian quinoa farmers», said Ken Campbell of ADM’s Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business. «Projects like this one help ensure safe, sustainable farming practices for local farmers and also provide ADM with unique products such as quinoa to help our customers meet the growing demand for healthier ingredients and products».