Agriculture News

August 8, 2023

Arequipa Nexus Institute in Peru receives $4 million for phase 3 funding

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The multiphase collaboration Arequipa Nexus Institute for Food, Energy, Water and the Environment has received funding for a third phase of projects from Universidad Nacional de San Agustín. Launched in March 2018 by UNSA in Arequipa, Peru, and Purdue University, the institute is an innovative collaboration focused on key challenges to create a sustainable future for the peoples of Arequipa. 

The Arequipa Nexus Institute leverages UNSA faculty, students and infrastructure and the strengths of research faculty and infrastructure from many of Purdue’s colleges, including the College of Agriculture, College of Education, College of Health and Human Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. The colleges will work with UNSA to build capacity and the strategic, long-term collaborations needed to address environmental, agroeconomic and social challenges.

“We are thrilled to continue this important collaboration and provide support that will help UNSA’s faculty address critical environmental challenges while also supporting communities with the greatest needs,” says Lori Hoagland, professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and co-director of the Arequipa Nexus Institute.

The initial phases of the collaboration occurred between 2018 and 2019 and engaged more than 170 faculty and staff, 38 postdoctoral candidates and over 50 graduate and undergraduate students. The six key topic areas of phases 1 and 2 were natural resources, agriculture and food, technology, sustainable design and teaching, community engagement, and administration. Since the beginning of the collaboration, 51 articles have been published in international scientific journals, over 100 presentations have been given at international conferences and over 100 videos and webinars have been created and distributed.

“We are excited about this new phase of collaborative work with UNSA,” says Daniel Leon-Salas, associate professor in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and co-director of Arequipa Nexus Institute. “The projects in this phase have been carefully selected based on their potential impact for the people of Arequipa.”

nexus-leadership Arequipa Nexus leadership (co-directors, program manager and principal investigators) from phase 3 outside UNSA’s Technological Scientific Park in Peru. (Photo provided by Arequipa Nexus Institute) Download image

The goal with phase 3 is to continue to build the knowledge, capacity and tools needed to address grand challenges in the region while also focusing on improving the livelihoods of underserved highland communities in the Colca Valley. The new funding from UNSA will focus on projects aimed at supporting the transition to organic food production, improving alpaca fiber quality, designing small-scale renewable energy systems and creating plans for regenerative tourism.

“The ability to address environmental, agroeconomic and social challenges in the country and support the long-term relationship with UNSA is one of the exciting roles we play at Purdue,” says Karen Plaut, executive vice president for research. “It is about research, education and the ability to improve people’s lives by helping them meet their goals. We look forward to working with UNSA to make a difference for Peru.”

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Writer/Media contact: Nyssa Lilovich, 

Sources: Lori Hoagland,

Daniel Leon-Salas,


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