Peru is a middle-income country with a growing economy. It was ranked 80th out of 187 on the 2011 UNDP Human Development Index and 15th out of 79 on the 2012 Global Hunger Index. The country experienced an average GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent between 2002 and 2011, increasing per capita income by more than 50 percent during this period (World Bank 2012).

In spite of such impressive economic growth, poverty and extreme income inequality continue to plague Peru. The national poverty rate is over 50 percent, with 20 percent of people in the remote Sierra region considered extremely poor (IFAD 2012).

Agriculture is mainly at the subsistence level, with many smallholders facing chronic food insecurity. Approximately 11 million people (38 percent) do not have even minimum daily calories intake (2,100Kcal). Fourteen out of 25 regions in the country are extremely vulnerable to child chronic undernutrition (WFP 2012). More than 18 percent of children under five suffer from chronic undernutrition. Insufficient access to food commodities, poor consumption patterns, inadequate child care, poor nutrition practices, and low educational levels all contribute to high levels of food insecurity in Peru.