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Development and innovation of new nutritional sources from products made with Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis) of Andean biodiversity

Foods with high protein value of plant origin

Photo of Huella Verde Ceilan S.A.S. HVC
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Huella Verde Ceilan SAS (HVC)

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

We are part of the SumaSach’a business group, which is a network of cooperatives and business units from all regions of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Costa Rica. In Colombia 1000 families have been impacted and has more than 1411 associates. Additionally, 50 hectares of illicit crops have been replaced with the Sacha Inchi

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Ceilan, Municipality of Bugalagrande, Valle del Cauca Region

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Bugalagrande with 374 km2 located in the south west of Colombia.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

We selected this population because it is a city that in the 80s until 2010, the rise of drug trafficking and the dominance of groups outside the law, made many families find in the illicit crops an alternative to survive having to endure many episodes of violence. Many of their neighbors, family and friends were taken away by the terror generated by this phenomenon, in recent years the government has established policies that have helped free the land of these crops that in turn destroy the environment and with the effort of the Farmers have turned it into grasslands and crops that today move the economy of the city, this place is important for visionary leaders because it is one of the villages of Valle del Cauca that its mountainous region has an average climate of 24 ° C and has different altitudes making it ideal for all types of crops. Its hydrography is composed by rivers and has favorable soil and climate conditions for the development of agriculture and is strengthening in recent years especially on the initiative of the farmers themselves and in some cases with support of programs of the state that have motivated the associated work, the leaders are connected to this region because it has a great biodiversity, source of water, ecological resources and strategic point to create agrobusiness in the field where the crops are easily located inland of the country and with proximity to the most important seaport of Colombia located in Buenaventura. There also a wide diversity of ethnic groups is concentrated, generating a multicultural scenario and with an infinite social wealth. The entire previous framework contrasts with the high figures in poverty, social inequality and low access to higher education. We believe that this area will be a focus of growth for agricultural supply in Colombia and that is why we currently have 25 hectares of sacha inchi crops in the productive stage.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Bugalagrande, Valle del Cauca

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Valle del Cauca region, through the city capital of Cali, identified through the 'Footprint of Cities' project, a regional climate change mitigation and adaptation initiative led by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Agency French Development (AFD). The national government through the law 1931 of July 27, 2018 establishes the guidelines for the management of climate change, framed in the law. The north and center of the Cauca Valley have one of the largest agri-environmental problems in the country. It has been identified that it is in this sector that the largest monocultures, the largest sugarcane, are concentrated.

The HVC project (Huella Verde Ceilán) seeks to improve the quality of life of farmers in the northern region and the center of the valley, proposes to implement in this sector the various crops seeking to solve several aspects below:

1. Environment: The main problem is that monocultures represent in relation to the ecosystems that surround them, given that this type of agriculture demands a large amount of water and insecticides that impoverish soils and generate high environmental impacts . The lack of biological corridors causes the soil to lose nutrients and many varieties of insects and native species simply disappear. All of the above translates into lack of ecological sustainability, a problem that the HVC project seeks to solve with the implementation of biodiversity crops in the region.

2. Economic: This aspect becomes one of the most important within the objectives of the HVC project. It should be understood that Colombia contributes 70% of cocaine production in the world. Among the sectors most affected by drug trafficking and illicit crops are the department of Cauca and Valle del Cauca.

3. Social: Young people are neglecting the countryside, their lands, migration trends to cities indicate that this is due to several causes social and politics.

4. Culture: One of the biggest challenges at the cultural level is to change the consumption of animal meat for vegetable meat. Our society has historically adopted the intake of especially bovine meat as one of its main sources of protein. To make the cultural change of trying another type of food will take us a long cultural process that citizens must assimilate as we develop pleasant and highly nutritional products.

5. Policy:  The existence of a peaceful and stable environment is a basic condition for achieving sustainable food security where countries with high levels of food insecurity are more likely to return to conflict. Colombia have been involved in several problems affecting the peace of your citizens

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Huella Verde Ceilan SAS are empowering in the implementation of measures that help mitigate greenhouse gases by providing actions for climate change adaptation through the protection of impact ecosystems in the agricultural and industrial value chain in the Colombian countryside and promoting the production of organic crops making efficient use of natural resources for the manufacture of their own organic inputs and amendments from the biological residues of agricultural processes.

1. Environment: Our project focuses on contributing from the agri-food system to minimize emissions in the transformation processes and minimize water consumption that helps impact and reduce 46% of the water footprint identified in the region by 2050, taking advantage of plant crops native to Colombian biodiversity, adapted and resistant to strong tropical climates in an organized and technified way to guarantee to produce organic raw materials and transform with efficient operations in energy consumption, water and emission release and obtain food products of high nutritional and healthy value that provide welfare and food security to the population, it should also be added that the carbon footprint of the Inchi sacha is 2.4 kg of CO2 / Kg of Inchi sacha grain and comparing with the production of bovine animal protein that is 25 kg CO2 / Kg of meat.

2. Economic:  HVC seeks to provide the farmer with alternative crops that are sustainable and also allow him to obtain the economic income that he would no longer receive when replacing illegal crops. HVC seeks not only to give crop alternatives but to turn the farmer into a producer, processor and marketer of finished products and thus professionalize the work of the farmer and allow agrobusiness to be inclusive.

3. Social: Turning sacha into a good business for the farmer will allow them to keep their families together by reducing migration to the cities. We hope to have a university by 2050 that has agricultural programs focused on strengthening the production of Sacha Inchi.

4. Cultural: In 2050 we will have a portfolio of developed products robust enough in all categories of food (oils, meats, breads, nuts, and others) that will be accepted by the consumer for its quality and functional benefits.

5. Policy: In accordance with the challenges that arise in terms of nutrition and health, the country must advance in the materialization of the commitments acquired from the peace agreement , HVC will establish communication with the local government in order to define that food and nutrition policy in rural areas be supported by the progressive increase of Sacha Inchi production, income generation and, in general, the creation of welfare conditions, through national plans for access to land, infrastructure, irrigation, housing and drinking water, technical assistance and training, marketing, credit , and the promotion of associative forms based on solidarity and cooperation.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Huella Verde Ceilan SAS seeks to improve the quality of life of consumers by offering functional foods that contribute to the development of our population with foods high in vegetable protein, omega 3, 6 and 9 made from the fruit of Sacha Inchi (Vulubilis plukenetia), as well It also meets nutritional needs and contributes greatly to reducing the carbon footprint, education, social development and knowledge transfer gaps.

In 2050 we will have products based on sacha Inchi that contribute to health and nutrition globally, with environmentally sustainable processes throughout the value chain. additionally we will generate knowledge transfer so that all the peoples of the world can have this source of protein and essential fatty acids that help to reduce malnutrition.

In the year 2050 we expect improvement in child malnutrition rates. In Colombia, according to the national survey, the nutritional situation carried out by the government in 2015 reveals that 3.1% of children under 5 years old, 7.2% children aged 5-12 years and 9.7% of children 13-17 years suffer from malnutrition. Additionally, 27.3% children under 5 years old, 8% children aged 5-12 years old, 25% children aged 13-17 years old are lacking in vitamin A. Through products made from Sacha Inchi, we will reduce the indices described above based on our product being cheaper than the sources of protein and vitamin A present in the market.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

According to the results bulletin of the 3rd National Agricultural Census CNA, in Colombia there are 2.7 million producers in the field, and of them 725 thousand are resident producers, equivalent to 26.7% of the total. In the department of Valle del Cauca there are 262,310 farmers and 51,793 farmers from ethnic groups for a total of 314,103 farmers, the challenge is to grow by 3% of the population of farmers in Sacha Inchi to reach 9,423 farmers in 2050 with annual growth of 314 farmers in an area of 628 hectares per year, of the 374 km2 area of the village that corresponds to 37400 hectares, there is a total area planted with agro-industrial crops of 11,905 hectares, the municipality has enough available area to achieve the goal of 9,423 hectares at 2050. The country has considered agricultural development and food security as a priority, elements that positively impact the nutritional status of the entire Colombian population, especially the poorest, vulnerable and ethnic groups

Our projections to 2050 aim to reduce the consumption of beef of bovine origin due to the impact that this entails such as:
-  The Price of Vegetable Protein ($ 15 COP / Gr) is 42% lower than the price of animal protein ($ 26 COP / Gr)
 -  In one hectare, 608 kg of vegetable protein is produced vs 45 kg of animal protein for the same hectare per year
-  The animal protein production process requires consumption of vegetable protein and use of non-renewable natural resources (water and soil); additional pollutes the environment with CO2 generation vs. Sacha inchi protein that its production is friendly to the environment because it generates oxygen and not methane.

Nutricional Benefits

- Replacement of animal omega with vegetable omega. Fish oil, rich in ω-3 unsaturated fatty acids, primarily represented by eicosapentaenoic acid (20: 5; EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22: 6; DHA) (22), has been shown to improve lipid profiles, however , the cultural acceptance of its flavor has hindered its incorporation into the diet, which justifies the need to find new sources with better palatability but equally healthy. According to the available evidence, it is pertinent to focus efforts on the study of vegetable oils rich in ácidos-3 fatty acids, such as Sacha Inchi, taking into account possible advantages derived from the better acceptability of the product, compared to fish oils, and the possibility of being able to apply it as a therapeutic alternative given the lower risk of side effects or drug interactions. Omega 3 oils are very scarce in nature and are essential for life and health, so they must always be present in the diet, especially omega 3 alpha linolenic, because the body cannot synthesize it from The food you eat is called linolenic essential fatty acid.
It is of utmost importance the consumption of omega 3 oil in health and nutrition because it prevents and maintains health, controls and reduces cholesterol, essential in the formation of eye tissue, essential in the formation of the structure of cell membranes, More than half of the brain contains omega 3, favoring the increase and acceleration of the different brain functions that are closely linked to memory, intelligence and reasoning. It transports nutrients in the bloodstream, favors the better functioning of the digestive system and fortifies bones and the bone system in general, contributes to maintaining the metabolism balance, enhances the motor functions of the body and favors diets for weight loss.

- In 2050, health conditions improved in the elderly. The consumption of Sacha Inchi peanuts or their derivatives, characterized by their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids ω-3 and ω-6, has been related to the improvement of the biochemical profile related to cardiovascular risk, which allows to assume benefits at medium and long term, in preventive actions of different levels. It is an excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids, primarily alpha linolenic (C18: 3) and linoleic (C18: 2), which represent approximately 82% of the total oil content.

We are sure that sacha inchi and all the products that can be developed through it will be an excellent nutritional source with which we will reduce the rates of malnutrition, improve our environment and the conditions of our farmers and contribute to the reduction of the social and economic problems of the whole world.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website


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