Skip to content

The Baseline study in five municipalities of intervention of the Fish for Life II Project (Yapacaní, San Carlos, San Juan, Puerto Villarroel and Entre Ríos) made it possible to know the precise situation of fish farming and have information to define strategies for development of the sector and its sustainable growth. The results show that the main weaknesses are linked to human capital (skills and knowledge) and social capital (social resources, networks, trust, access to institutions).

The Baseline study in five municipalities of intervention of the Fish for Life II Project (Yapacaní, San Carlos, San Juan, Puerto Villarroel and Entre Ríos) made it possible to know the precise situation of fish farming and have information to define strategies for development of the sector and its sustainable growth. The results show that the main weaknesses are linked to human capital (skills and knowledge) and social capital (social resources, networks, trust, access to institutions).

Household Livelihood Approach

“Life comprises the capabilities, assets and activities required for a sustainable livelihood that can cope with and recover from stress and shocks, maintain or increase its capabilities and assets, and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for the next generation.”*
Livelihoods approaches compared, DFID 1999.

Using the “Household Livelihoods” approach, the study documents the current status of small-scale fish farming and provides data to assess the needs and capacity for micro-financing.

In the study area, 530 peasant and indigenous families are fish farmers and there is a significant number of families interested in starting this productive activity. However, productivity is low. For example, in the Cochabamba Tropics it is 0.5 kg/m², when it is estimated that a profitable productivity of pacú with good management should be greater than 0.8 kg/m². The main problems recognized by the producers interviewed are diseases (cited by 29 % of people), low water quality (22 %) and poor quality of fry (18 %).

The results show that the greatest weakness in fish farming households is especially related to the skills and mechanisms to guarantee productive activity with the application of “good fish farming practices.” Another aspect that reduces the competitiveness of the chain has to do with social capital, especially the low level of management of producer organizations, and the little coordination with State programs at different levels – national, departmental and municipal.

With respect to financial capital (until 2015, there was no loan option for the fish farming sector in Bolivia), 72% of fish farming families have received loans with an average annual interest rate of 13 %, and which can go up to 25 %.

The results of the study provide very important quantitative and qualitative information to focus the strategies of the Fish for Life II Project and arrive, through the capital approach, at a series of recommendations for the sector:

Develop technical capabilities of local extension workers and fish farming families through specialized training in fish farming and massive technological dissemination mechanisms.
Strengthen producer associations, improve their associative management, their participation in public-private multi-stakeholder platforms and facilitate the relationship with suppliers of fingerlings, balanced feed, equipment and technology and develop effective services for their members.
Support the participatory analysis of the economic viability of fish farms, aimed at making decisions regarding access to financial resources that resolve the main bottlenecks and improve the profitability of fish farming.

Contacts:
Widen Abastoflor, CEPAC, widen@cepac.org.bo
Verónica Hinojosa, CEPAC, vhinojosa@cepac.org.bo

en_USEnglish