Title

From the condors : an investigation into Bolivia's role in the exportation of its Altiplano agricultural products to Japan, the United States and Europe

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

David Richards

Abstract

This research project attempted to identify the problems of exporting Bolivian Altiplano agricultural projects to Northern countries such as the United States and Japan. Early in the project, the research was redirected to focus primarily on the export of quinoa from the Altiplano. The author used several research gathering techinques such as surveys, focus groups and indepth interviews. The research subjects included. professionals in the field, farmers and Northerners working in the country. The greatest roadblocks to quinoa export gleemed from the collected data was discontinuity in the overall market chain of quinoa commercialization, having no national standard for quinoa exports, product quality in relation to market demand and corruption issues such as valid organic labeling for substandard quinoa and contraband. The author concluded that the coordination of all parties involved was necessary for quinoa from Bolivia to succeed in the international market. While this coordination is vital, farmers at the grassroots level have to also be able to meet the international demand for quinoa without sacrificing their own food security. Contraband needs to be indentified as a source for revenue loss as opposed to another market chain. Due to the wide range of responses received by the author from the Bolivians interviewed and the Northerners she spoke, she finally concluded the complexity of the issue and its importance to the region. This study can be used an an informative tool for farmers, NGOs and interested government parties. It can also also serve as a guide for similar more in-depth research projects in the future.

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