Entrepreneurship Proposal: Cushuro, an Andean Superfood for the World

Executive Summary:

Cushuro, an ancestral food from the Andes, is a rich source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. This project aims to raise awareness about the nutritional and cultural value of cushuro, promoting its consumption locally and internationally. Additionally, it seeks to have a positive impact on Andean communities by creating economic opportunities and preserving traditions.


Andean communities in Peru, particularly in regions like Áncash, face endemic poverty, inadequate healthcare access, environmental degradation and prevalent malnutrition. This is evidenced by the fact that in 2022, the prevalence of anemia among children aged 6 to 35 months in Áncash stood at 40.7%, slightly surprising the 40.2% figure documented in 2019. This dire situation is further underscored by the pandemic’s impact, with the poverty rate in Áncash soaring from 17.5% in 2019 to 29.8% in 2020, a level comparable to the 30.3% recorded in 2009. This indicates that over 145,000 people from Áncash found themselves living under impoverished conditions. 

On the other hand, the intensive rearing of cattle stands as a major contribution to environmental pollution. The industrialization of livestock production presents the emission of greenhouse gasses as well as water pollution, affecting quality of the environment, human health and biodiversity.

These challenges undermine the well-being and prosperity of the residents and hinder sustainable development in the region. Moreover, environmental degradation threatens biodiversity and ecosystem health, exacerbating the vulnerability of local populations.

Solution + Proposal:

Kawsay Cushuro, a Peruvian initiative, aims to address the multifaceted challenges faced by Andean communities through the cultivation and commercialization of cushuro, a cyanobacteria native to the Andean regions. The initiative seeks to harness the nutritional and environmental potential of cushuro to alleviate poverty, combat malnutrition, improve healthcare access, and promote environmental sustainability. By creating economic opportunities through cushuro cultivation and product commercialization, Kawsay Cushuro aims to empower communities, especially in rural areas with limited resources and employment opportunities. 

Additionally, the production of cushuro-based nutritious food products contributes to addressing malnutrition and promoting overall health and well-being, particularly among vulnerable populations such as children. It also seeks to control the intensification and industrialization of livestock production and balance the need for food security with environmental sustainability on consumer behavior. Furthermore, Kawsay Cushuro explores additional uses of cushuro, such as its potential as organic fertilizer and bioethanol production, to promote environmental sustainability and mitigate environmental degradation. These efforts foster a circular economy and contribute to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem health in the Andean regions.

Project Description:

The project involves establishing a cushuro production chain in Andean communities, implementing sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Local farmers will be trained in cultivation and harvesting techniques, ensuring the quality and purity of the product. Additionally, innovative cushuro-based products will be developed to diversify its use and increase demand.

SDG Covered:

Kawsay Cushuro aligns with several United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including:

  • SDG 1: No Poverty
  • SDG 2: Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities 
  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 15: Life on Land

The initiative’s holistic approach addresses social, economic, health, and environmental challenges in Andean communities, promoting prosperity, health, and ensuring environmental sustainability in the region.

Marketing Strategies:

  • Creation of a brand that highlights the nutritional and cultural values of cushuro.
  • Participation in fairs and gastronomic events to showcase the product.
  • Partnerships with chefs and nutritionists to promote the use of cushuro in cooking.

Business Model:

The business model is based on the production and sale of fresh cushuro and derived products, such as snacks, flour, and dietary supplements. Distribution channels will be established both in local and international markets, taking advantage of the growing interest in natural superfoods.


The project will require an initial investment for the training of farmers, acquisition of equipment and machinery, and product development. Financing will be sought through social investment funds, government grants, and collaborations with international organizations.


The cushuro entrepreneurship project aims not only to introduce a healthy and sustainable superfood to the market but also to have a positive impact on Andean communities by promoting their economic development and preserving their culture. With a comprehensive approach to cushuro production, marketing, and valorization, this project has the potential to transform the food industry and improve the quality of life for thousands of people in the Andes.

Reference (APA):