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Since the Pacomarca genetic improvement center was inaugurated in 2000, its staff, together with the technicians at Inca Tops, embarked on an ambitious long-term selection program plus a series of experiments aimed at improving the yield of alpaca fiber, including shearing and fleece-handling techniques. The Inca Shearing method thus came into being; it results in an improved yield of the finer grades of fiber (Royal Alpaca and Baby Alpaca) and is less stressful for the animals, most of which are pregnant females that are usually sheared during the last third of their gestation period. It was shown that the use of this shearing method led to a significantly reduced incidence of abortions and other mishaps during shearing. Inca Shearing was first introduced to the alpaca-producing herdsmen who make regular visits to the Pacomarca ranch; incentives were established for those producers who used the technique and then sold their product to Inca Tops.
Over the years, the alpaca industry has experienced a truly remarkable growth phenomenon in the production of the finer grades of alpaca fiber; this has increased threefold and produced a positive impact on both industry and the Andean fiber producers, who now charge differentiated prices in accordance with the quality of their fleeces The Peruvian government recently adopted the Inca Shearing system, which has been instated as the National Shearing Standard. It is expected that an ever larger number of Peruvian alpaca producers will be reached by means of its dissemination. Inca Tops, through Pacomarca, has contributed actively to the adoption of this shearing system as a National Technical Standard and hosts the Ministry of Agriculture's work meetings which include all sectors involved in the production and processing of alpaca fiber in Peru.
In 2015, Inca Tops will continue to support the divulgation and use of the new technique through courses, seminars, exhibitions and demonstrations that Pacomarca will develop in collaboration with alpaca producers from the Andean areas of Peru. It is expected that the quality of alpaca fiber will continue to undergo significant improvements with the application of new production techniques and the genetic selection that is being carried out at the Inca Tops model ranch. (Visit: www.pacomarca.com)