In 1997, NGO Inti Raymi and Raymisa started a project to generate an income for alpaca farmers and residents of the Ocondate and Tinki communities in Cusco. From the beginning, we have worked on giving trainings to farmers and villagers in raising alpaca, herd improvement, selection of fiber, fiber dyeing and product processing. Currently, have a processing plant in Tinki that produces alpaca fiber. It has a processing capacity of 15,000 kg per year. Raymisa has also developed four collections aimed at the development of the following products:
• Pieces of art that include alpaca fiber
• Woven and knitted clothes
• T-shirts and sweaters made of alpaca fiber
• Handmade fabrics
The processing plant in Tinki was designed to have minimal impact on the environment. It is sustainable and only organic products are produced. Furthermore, our processing plant has solar panels. Biodegradable components are used for the washing and dyeing to ensure the river adjacent to the processing plant will not become contaminated.
Between 2010 and 2012, Raymisa formed a partnership with the regional government of Cusco to start a project called Fondoempleo. This project aimed at developing the technical and business skills of farmers, herders and textile artisans living in the Cusco region. The project was led by Raymisa and integrated and consolidated the production chain of alpaca fiber, including the processing of resources and marketing.
The project focused on four provinces in the region of Cusco. We came up with two ‘‘Alpaca Routes’’ that included places that had our priority. The first route linked the following towns: Ocongate – Urcos – Cusco – Arequipa. The second route linked the following towns that can be reached by taking the Transoceanic Highway: Sicuani- Cusco – Arequipa.
Components of the Project Plan
The project consisted of five components. The first three activities were aimed at herders and farmers. The other two activities were aimed at artisans.
The most important result of the project was the increase of farmers’ and herders’ income.
• A demonstration module of good farming practices was installed in the community of Tinki.
• 1191 farmers were trained in raising alpaca.
• 65% of the produced alpaca fiber is of higher quality than before.
• A network of ten collection centers was set up in the three provinces that were targeted by the project.
• Thirty women were trained and certified as sorters.
• Two producer associations, SPAR Cusco and COOPECAN, received financial support.
• Thirty tons of alpaca fiber were brought to Arequipa for trade. The yield was S /. 450,000.
• 428 alpaca producers participated. In total, they raised more than 51,300 alpacas.
• The export of outerwear to Italy was established. The container weighed 8.5 tons and had a net worth of $ 92319.35.
• The export of 16,000 balls of spun fiber to Germany was established.
• Forty studios were consolidated.
• Twelve collections were produced.
• Fifteen studios and workshops from Cusco participated in the Peruvian Fashion Fair 2011.
• The sales revenue of the whole network of commercial partners was $ 800,000.
Currently, Raymisa runs a project that is paid for by Fyncit, FIDECOM and the Science & Technology Fund. The project involves the development of a prototype cleaning module that will be used in processing plants in Tinki, Ocongate and Cusco. The module will improve the washing system of alpaca fiber, which allows farmers from surrounding communities to receive more money for the processing of alpaca fiber. This stimulates the local economies.