Latin America and the Caribbean





Main Themes

Market access, Food security, Minor livestock


IFAD, FORD Foundation

Learning Territory: Innovations in Breeding and Reproductive Management of Cavies

Sustainable Minor Livestock Breeding for food security and income raising of rural families

Cajabamba is a province located in the Northern Sierra of Peru, in the Cajamarca region, in a territory that extends between 2000 and 3000 meters above sea level, with a high climatic variety between its different ecosystems.

The province comprises 4 districts: Condebamba, Cajabamba, Sitacocha and Cachachi. It is an area with a predominantly rural population (78%), and predominantly small family property (less than ten hectares per agricultural unit).


Cavies breeding has achieved important technological and productive development that has been driven by the sustained growth of cavies demand in Peru’s internal and external food market.

In Cajabamba, for approximately a decade, with main support provided by the NGO CEDEPAS Norte, the Regional Government, Local Governments, INIA (National Institute for Agricultural Innovation) and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), small rural farmers have established an important process of learning and innovations in the breeding of cavies aimed at its technification and the application of good practices in health and reproduction management, that have improved the productivity of the rural breeders. This technology has meant the evolution of traditional diet in rural areas towards a more equilibrated nutrition, some competitive advantages with impacts on household food security and new sustainbale forms of income generation, sufficient to cover farmers and their families basic needs, while taking advantage of new market opportunities offered by the breeding of cavies in the Andean region.

100 small breeders share their experiences in the Learning Territory

10 Local Champions empowered their capacities and participated as peer-to-peer trainers in Learning Territories implemented sessions

3 entrepreneurial associations with more than 200 active members

Good Practices in reproduction management, biosecurity, feeding, slaughtering and sale


What successful solutions have the enterprises that are part of the Learning Territory implemented?

  • Design and install cavies breeding sheds according to technical and climatic characteristics and conditions, appropriate to the territory.
  • Apply good practices of biosecurity and animal health, considering the climatic, sanitary and logistic exigencies inside the shed for the breeding of cavies.
  • Carry out the food management of cavies, considering the productive stage and the availability of a correct diet resources in the territory.
  • Know and apply the cavies slaughtering process, taking into account food safety and market demands.


Number of breeding sheds: 200

Number of cavies: 2,000 per shed on average

Reproductors: 350–400 per shed on average

Markets: National and regional

  • Identify and select the breeds of the cavies taking into account the productive and reproductive parameters and the conformation of each breed.
  • Select cavies by sex and productive characteristics considering the criteria of quality and breeding.
  • Carry out the proper nutrition and the new born diet according to the stages of growth.
  • Know and adopt coupling and breeds management considering genetic criteria and market demand.
  • Implement blood refresher practices according to breeds and productive parameters.


Breeds Management: Inti, Perú, Andean and Interracial breeds

Reproduction Management with improved results in uniformity and prolificacy

Higher yields in meat and shell according to market demand


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