Training human resources is one of the fundamental pillars for implementation of “best practices in aquaculture.” Between December 2015 and May 2016, the Amazon Fish for Food II Project trained 40 female and male technical assistants for fish farming. This strengthens legitimate, certified support for aquaculture associations and fish farming families. Participants came from the departments of Beni, Cochabamba, Tarija and Santa Cruz.
Baseline research conducted by AMAZON FISH FOR FOOD identified that the main weaknesses in the fish farming sector are human capital (insufficient skills and knowledge), lack of access to technical assistance and the lack of ability to implement “Best Practices “. These shortcomings significantly affect the levels of productivity, efficiency and profitability of aquaculture (see Bulletin No. 2, March 2016, Baseline: the reality of the fish farming sector LINK).
To help address this need, Amazon Fish for Food II initiated the training of local fish farming human resources, who, soon, can provide effective technical support to farming families.
The mechanisms used in the capacity-building process are:
Selection of participants
The main aquaculture organizations and municipalities in the Project area recommended participants based on: 1) people that were committed to applying peer-to-peer methodology for technical assistance; 2) balanced access and participation of men and women. This included farmers, municipal support staff, and students.
Together, CEPAC and the Integral Faculty of Ichilo UAGRM / ICAP (Popular Training Institute of the Autonomous University Gabriel René Moreno) drafted and approved the curriculum for the “Technical Aquaculture Assistant” Certificate Program. The curriculum content and material were designed to follow the cycle of fish production.
High quality support
The course included presentations by experienced specialists from Bolivia, as well as Brazil (EMBRAPA), Argentina (PROTEGER) and Canada (WFT) through South-South cooperation facilitated and supported by WFT (Canada).
The course consisted of 800 academic hours, with 184 hours spent in the classroom and 616 hours of practice in the field.
The first offering of the training program at the end of 2015, saw an enrollment of 40 students (24 men and 16 women), with most coming from the Project’s core area. Of the 40 students, 80% completed the training process (19 men and 13 women).
In September 2016, the second “Technical Aquaculture Assistant” program began, with 39 new students (14 from the adjacent Tropical region of Cochabamba Department). The six-month course is expected to be completed in February 2017.
Verónica Hinojosa, CEPAC, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tiffanie Rainville, WFT, email@example.com