Board of Directors (2021-2023)

President: Edgar Olivera Hurtado

Born in Huancayo, he is a Zootechnical Engineer graduated from the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco; he has received training in Peru and abroad in adult education, production systems, ecologically appropriate agriculture and biodiversity. Expert in Participatory Research; has worked in the genetic improvement of sheep, specialist in natural and cultivated pastures. He has worked in the Yanapai Group since its inception (1986) being responsible for the communication and operation of organizations, both of the farming communities, and activities associated with the institution. He has published scientific and technical articles in the area of his expertise.

Secretary: Katherin Paola Meza Retamozo

Native of Huancayo. Agricultural Engineer graduated from the Universidad Nacional del Centro del Peru and with a Master's degree in Soil and Crop Science from Colorado State University (CSU). Her first research experience was in the Plant Breeding Program of the International Potato Center (CIP) Huancayo. In 2010 he did his internship, managing greenhouses to produce pre-basic seed with resistance to Phytophthora infestans under the aeroponics system. Subsequently, he developed his thesis project, focusing on biosafety and gene flow issues. She has collaborated in the morphological characterization for the "Catalog of Native Potato Varieties of the South-East of the Department of Junín". Since 2013 she has been working in the Yanapai Group, first as a Research Assistant and currently as a researcher in the Soils and Agriculture in High Andean Landscapes Program. She conducts research for agroecology and participatory action research approaches. Currently developing research to promote new ecological options for soil health and contribute to the resilience of Andean systems in collaboration with high Andean communities in the regions of Huancavelica, Junin and Ayacucho.

Treasurer: Edith Fernández – Baca

D. in Veterinary Medicine and Master of Veterinary Science from Massey University in New Zealand, as well as a Ph.D. in Rural Sociology from Iowa State University with a focus on food systems, agriculture and environment, and community development. She is a specialist in sustainable rural development, natural resource management, participatory methodologies, inclusion issues and policy advocacy through coalition building for persuasion (alliances). She has worked in social research in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, United States, as well as advising research in Bolivia, in the Andean Dialogue Program, the project Governance, Inclusive Adaptation, Coalitions and Climate Change in the Andes and the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountains (SARD-M) project. He has more than 14 publications ranging from book chapters, scientific articles and papers. He is currently working for United Nations sponsored research on climate based ecosystems and researched on high Andean natural grasslands, as well as preserving the unique ecosystem of hills surrounding the city of Lima, endangered due to unplanned or unregulated expansion of the city. Currently. He has more than 16 publications in scientific journals and book chapters.

Member: Alejandra Arce Indacochea

With more than 10 years of experience in research with intercultural approach in agroecology and agrobiodiversity conservation projects, she contributes from a multidisciplinary perspective to collaboration and innovation in research and development for in situ conservation. As an associate scientist in the recently formed "Andean Initiative" of the International Potato Center (Lima, Peru), she has contributed to the development of projects, from concept to completion, thereby contributing to the construction of multifunctional relationships and facilitating networking between organizations. All this with the aim of contributing to the development of healthy, resilient and socially just rural-urban environments in the Andes.


Stef de Haan

A native of the Netherlands, he has worked in Peru since 1997 on agrobiodiversity issues with the Instituto Rural Valle Grande (IRVG) in Nor-Yauyos and with the International Potato Center (CIP) in the Andean zone. He obtained his PhD from Wageningen University (2009) with a research work that elucidated multiple dimensions of in-situ conservation in Huancavelica. He has forged and coordinated several catalogs of native potato varieties, including the catalog of native potato varieties of Huancavelica-Peru (2006), the catalog of native potato varieties of Chugay, La Libertad-Peru (2015), and the catalog of native potato varieties of the southeastern department of Junin-Peru (2017). He promotes participatory breeding in the Peruvian Andes, researches on genetic resources, genotype x environment interaction, ethnobotany, crop evolution and food systems. He has extensive experience in research and development project management. He has more than 105 scientific publications and book chapters. He worked at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) coordinating the sustainable food systems program in Asia. He currently works as Senior Andean Food Systems Scientist and is leader of the Andean Initiative at the International Potato Center (CIP).

María Mayer de Scurrah

Former Group President (1998-2009), Native of Huancayo, she is now Director of Yanapai Group since 2016, She has a PhD in Plant Breeding from Cornell University (1972). She was a plant breeder at the International Potato Center (CIP), in the area of nematode and insect resistance. Then, she spent 8 years at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (1990-1998) in the area of research and development of nematode control through plant breeding in oats, wheat, beans and peas. He returned to Peru in 1999, when he joined the Yanapai Group. His current interest is to achieve an integration between agriculture and nutrition of the high Andean people, and to enhance adaptation to climate change, strengthening the management and use of agrobiodiversity with a way of life that is attractive to young people. In 2021 she was selected along with 20 other women scientists for a book edited by CONCYTEC on women scientists who have contributed to development and knowledge. (

Raúl Ccanto Retamozo

Agronomist with extensive experience in applied research and training with participatory methods in Agrobiodiversity; seed systems; pest monitoring; nutrition for food security; strategies and practices of peasant communities facing the risks of climate change. He holds a Master's degree in Agrarian Innovation for Rural Development from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina. With more than 25 years dedicated to research for the development of rural communities, associations with emphasis on rural women. From 1992 to 1994, he worked in quality seed potato production at the Instituto Veterinario de Investigación en Trópico y Altura- IVITA- UNMSM and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agraria- INIA. He coordinates with non-governmental organizations, peasant communities, producer associations and research centers for research and participatory work. He has specialized as a researcher in traditional seed systems and local knowledge of high Andean agrobiodiversity, facilitating processes in Participatory Varietal Improvement and Selection-PSV and Participatory Development of Technologies-DPT, training and facilitating Farmer Field Schools- ECA in agriculture, livestock and food and nutritional security. He currently works in the Yanapai Group as project coordinator.

Enma Nuñez Muñoz

Former President of the Yanapai Group (2017-2021), born in the province of Concepción, Department of Junín. Zootechnical Engineer with a Master's Degree in Rural Development, in addition to being an independent consultant with more than 28 years of work in Participatory Research and Development Projects. She has training in participatory planning in the promotion of self-help and local management, climate change adaptation and local management. With experience in participatory research, planning and work with multidisciplinary technical teams through the use and management of participatory methods and tools for diagnosis, formulation, implementation, validation and systematization of plans, social and productive projects; promoting the strengthening of spaces for consultation and the capacities of civil society on issues of local management, climate change management for sustainable management of natural resources. With an agroecological, territorial and gender approach. In recent years he has done consultancies for the Ministry of Environment, CONDESAN PRODERN, Andean Community, IGP; IGP CONAM (2003-2005), in Regional and Local Government spaces, has published scientific and development articles on technical issues and adaptation to climate change.

Blanca Arce

Native of Lima. Zootechnical Engineer with a Master's Degree in Animal Production from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has a specialization in Livestock Systems Analysis and a PhD in Animal Science from Cornell University-USA, in addition to two specializations, one in International Agriculture and the second in Agricultural Economics and Natural Resource Management. She was regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Urban Harvest Research Program of the International Potato Center (2004-2007). She is currently a visiting professor at the Graduate School of the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Visiting Professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas y Ambientales (UDCA) of Colombia. During the last 20 years she has worked in Latin America in international and national organizations, in research for development, mainly coordinating and managing projects with systems approaches for the improvement of peasant agriculture and natural resource management, in rural areas, and in recent years in urban areas. She has conducted more than 10 studies in the Andes of South America and has published more than 20 scientific articles, both in national and international journals, on topics related to the analysis of agricultural production systems and agricultural development in rural and urban areas, natural resource improvement and conservation, and climate change. Executive Director of the PNIA 2015-2021, which has just closed with success and applause from its evaluators recommending a PHASE II.

Isabel Álvarez Novoa

Sociologist, Peruvian cuisine researcher and social communicator. Owner and director of "El Señorío de Sulco". 19 years ago she started, through the restaurant, the pioneering work of recovery and revaluation of Peruvian cuisine. She has published "El Corregidor Mejía, Cocina y Memoria del Alma Limeña", interpretation essay "Huellas y Sabores del Perú", interpretation essay "Los Orígenes de la Cocina Peruana", "La Música y la Gastronomía", "La Cocina Criolla". She is a founding member and director of the "Centro de Cocinas Regionales - Investigación y Desarrollo". She is also a research member of the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management of the San Martin de Porres University. Writer of chronicles and articles on regional cuisine, culture and identity of Peru and Latin America, in various written media in Peru and abroad. Lecturer on cooking, culture, ethics and national identity at universities and institutes in Peru and abroad. Lecturer in various seminars in the field of Hospitality and Tourism in Universities and Institutions. She has received the Civic Medal awarded by the Municipality of Miraflores on Women's Day as the "Best Businesswoman of the Year". She was awarded the "City of Lima" trophy in recognition of her career in research and dissemination of Peruvian cuisine, and the "El Sol" trophy awarded by the Museum of the Nation of Peru in recognition of her contribution to the dissemination of Gastronomy.