tag cloud Livelihoods Americas Marketing diversity Conservation of crop diversity Partnerships Agricultural biodiversity

Spicing up the market for chilli


Peru and Bolivia are home to the largest and most diverse concentrations of chilli (Capsicum) in the world, but while it has been cultivated for thousands of years by farmers in Peru and Bolivia as a spice, vegetable and for medicinal purposes, much of its diversity remains neglected and undervalued. Recent increases in market demand for new and unique flavours have provided an opportunity for smallholder farmers to generate higher income by using native chilli diversity.


Bioversity International is leading a 3-year initiative, supported by the German government, to link small-scale producers with processing and marketing companies that supply local and international markets. This collaboration includes non-governmental organizations, research institutes and universities in Bolivia, Peru and Germany. In addition we collaborated with smallholder farmers, entrepreneurs, farmer associations, the public sector and local and regional governments to develop and map the Capsicum value chain.


Esaú Hildago del Águila, a Peruvian agroforesty farmer explains: “Growing chilli (for the market) is a new development for us, but it is actually a forgotten crop that has been revived due to public interest and by big organizations like the Peruvian Association of Chefs.”


This work is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets.



Photo: Selecting chilli for the market and food industry, Peru - Credit: Bioversity International/X. Scheldeman