The Amazon Fish for Food Project (Peces para la Vida II), now in its 2nd of 3 years, proposes to scale-up and strengthen fishing and aquaculture-based livelihoods and their Integrated Production Complexes in Bolivia. The project focuses on two main scaling-up models:
• Public policy development, multi-stakeholder partnerships, fisheries management, improved market access, and provision of micro-credits to improve benefits from Arapaima (paiche) fisheries for indigenous communities;
• Small-scale family-based fish farming based on women’s leadership, with multi-stakeholder partnerships, provision of micro-credit and improved access to markets.
A group of key innovative solutions were chosen based on the experiences of a first phase of the project, considered proven, adaptable, and ready to contribute to scaling up. This set of strategies proposed by the PPVII are helping to influence public policy, build joint public-private partnerships and improve production, marketing and knowledge management. They are also contributing to improved livelihoods, equity, gender equality, and environmental sustainability. Some examples of results are:
Products: Research Protocols to evaluate and monitor consumer habits, fish quality and handling, an interactive fish farming manual, protocols for trade fairs and commercial events.
Services: Financial (loans, leasing, savings and insurance), and international exchanges.
Integrated Models: Increased production of paiche fisheries through changes in access rights, increased economic value of paiche, “best practices” for fish handling and hygiene, opportunities for dialogue (platforms), a socio-economic model with gender equality, a model for the provision of technical assistance to fish farmers, a public-sector investment model.
Policies: Paiche fishing regulations, fish quality and safety regulations, advocacy in public policy, specialized training.
The figure presents an overview of the Project’s scaling-up process as a Roger’s Innovation curve, indicating the approximate stage of the project components and the path to improving livelihoods and providing quality fish to consumers.
Effective scaling-up is strongly rooted in social processes, including both direct effects of interventions and less predictable indirect effects – including the generation of conditions, scenarios and/or environments conducive to change. Both quantitative and qualitative indicators of these effects are being monitored by the project.