Waru waru
Share |
Project location: Puno, Peru

Waru Waru is an agricultural technique developed in South America around 300 B.C.
The project has introduced an ancient cultivation, irrigation and drainage system that made poor land productive: land with high salinity levels and poor drainage located in an area with frequent droughts and frost. The project involves the restoration of earthworks about one meter high and 10 to 15 meters wide. These are surrounded by wide, shallow canals which, when filled with water, ensure a microclimate that acts as a buffer against night-time frosts and provides moisture during droughts and drainage during the rainy season. The canals also act as barriers to keep out crawling insect pests.

Tagged with: food security
Impact Chain
Click here to display stimuli and impacts this project targets at.
Project details
Type of project Building / Installing structure
Status of project implemented
Spatial scale regional - province-level or catchment area
Emergence of effect Immediate
Persistence of effect Timeframe can not be specified
Running time 10 years
Total costs 3000000 usd
Initial investment not specified
Maintenance costs not specified
Initiating agent not specified
Executing agent Care Peru, local communities
Funding source Embassy of the Netherlands
Additional information
The results of the system could be improved if crops, including pastures, were rotated on a long-term basis.
Problem-solving capacity and reversibility
Problem-solving coverage Medium
Reversibility not specified
Relevant sectors
Evaluative information
Success factors

The amount of labour initially required to restore a waru waru can be a discouraging factor. This is why the project, during the first year, offered farmers tools and seeds as an incentive.

Limiting factors not specified
Synergies to Mitigation not specified
No-regret or Win-Win option not specified
Evaluation of the project

The practice increases the value of unused, flood-prone lands, as well as helping to reduce the damage caused by drought and frost. Experience shows that the minimum night-time temperatures reached in waru waru areas are two to three degrees centigrade higher than those of the surrounding plains. The moisture provided by the canals lowers the impact of sporadic droughts during the cycle and, in the rainy season, prevents the subsoil from becoming waterlogged by ensuring adequate drainage. Crop yields, in particular yields of potatoes and other Andean tubers, are 50% to 100% higher than the yields obtained using traditional farming techniques.

Contact information
Name: Alipio Canahua, CARE Peru
Address: Av General Santa Cruz 659 Lima 11, Peru
Tel: +51 1 4334781
E-Mail: canahuaa@puno.carepe.org.pe
Information source