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Improving Food Security in Bolivia Bulletin n°04

Fourth Semester, August 2017 Peces para la Vida is the first multi-stakeholder platform dedicated to the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in Bolivia. It provides technical and social information, creates opportunities for exchange, facilitates acess to micro-credits, and helps strengthen artisanal fisheries and small-scale fish farming and their value chains in the Bolivian Amazon.



Amazon Fish for Food Stories of Success!

• Second International Aquaculture Symposium....................................................... 3 • Success Stories: In my own words................. 5 • Technology-Sharing System benefits Productive Family Units.................................... 7

Sustainable Fisheries

• The Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Law is enacted...................................................... 8 • Fishing Organizations of the Northern Amazon legalize their Fishing and Commercial Activities................................................................ 9

Value Chain

• Creating Shared Value with Fishing: A Good Deal for All......................................................... 10 • Establishing Quality Standards for Fishery and Aquaculture Products with the National Authority “SENASAG”.......................................... 11 • Platforms Make Headway..............................13

Gender and Social Equity

©Stephen Cross

• Second Gathering of Aquaculture Leaders: “Exercising our Economic Rights”.......................15

Financial Services

• Public-Private Consultation is a Key Tool for Productive Development ...................................16 • CESO and VanCity Assist CIDRE’s Development as a Bolivian Bank ..................... 17 • Financing is Scaled Up for Fish Production... 17

News in Brief.................................................19 Further Reading, Follow.........................21

The Amazon Fish for Food Project pays homage to the talented men and women who are dedicated to building Bolivia’s future. The Project continues to support key advances and solutions in fishing and fish farming through organizational and legal strengthening, the development of business models, improvements in access to financing and diffusion of technology, all to improve food security. Co-led by Bolivian and Canadian partners, the outstanding drive of the sectors’ stakeholders have been key in strengthening these interventions.

©Stephen Cross

Peces para la Vida II The Peces para la Vida II project aims to improve the contribution of fish to food security and poverty reduction in the Bolivian Amazon, particularly for women, children and indigenous families. Peces para la Vida II is being implemented by six institutions from Bolivia and Canada: CEPAC, Centro de Promoción Agropecuaria Campesina (Bolivia) FAUNAGUA, Instituto de Investigaciones Aplicadas de los Recursos del Agua (Bolivia) WFT, World Fisheries Trust (Canada) IMG, Ingeniería Marketing Gestión Consulting (Bolivia) CIDRE, Institución Financiera de Desarrollo (Bolivia) UVIC, University of Victoria (Canada) ...collaborating with more than 20 stakeholders and institutions from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Supported by the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF), a program of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), undertaken with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC).


Editorial Comittee:

Widen Abastoflor, CEPAC Paul A. Van Damme, FAUNAGUA Joachim Carolsfeld, WFT Luis Enrique Badani, IMG Julio Alem, CIDRE Mark Flaherty, UVIC


Rodrigo Daza Mendizábal


Elisabeth Leciak


Tiffanie Rainville, Luz Mejía, Mónica McIsaac, Verónica Hinojosa, Roxana Salas, Santiago Laserna, Rodrigo Daza, Alvaro Cespedes, Eulogio Vargas y Roberto Castro LINK contact:

Aquaculture Second International Aquaculture Symposium: Generating skills, knowledge and exchange of ideas


Peces para la Vida II (PPVII), and the Quechua Indigenous University “Casimiro Huanca” - UNIBOL, organized and hosted Bolivia’s Second International Aquaculture Symposium held at the University’s Campus in Chimoré-Cochabamba from December 5 to 7, 2016. The event was supported by various public and private entities who contributed to its success.

The event was led by directors, teachers and students from the Aquaculture Engineering program at the University. Over 200 students, fish farmers, technicians, teachers, local authorities, and international and national researchers participated (with almost an equal number of men and women). The Second International Aquaculture Symposium builds on experience from the first one, held in 2013, hosted by PPV I and the national government fisheries and aquaculture authority (CIDAB).

The 32 talks themes on:


Aquaculture for “Living Well”

Presenters came from Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, and Chile, and included representatives of the PPV partners, EMBRAPA (Brazil), Bolivia’s public and private universities, aquaculture organizations, NGOs, private companies and the Legislative Assembly of Bolivia.

Aquatic biodiversity

The theme of “technological innovations” had the greatest number of presentations (17) and interest, followed by “integrated aquaculture” (nine), which included various economic topics. This was an opportunity for students, producers, and researchers to gain new skills and knowledge, that will ultimately lead to improved production in the fish farms.

Technological innovations in aquaculture systems

The next International Aquaculture Symposium, will be held in Santa Cruz in 2018, by the Autonomous University Gabriel Rene Moreno, and will receive the continued support of PPVII partners, IRD (Research Institute for Development, France) and several other fish farmers, academics and public authorities.

Sectoral policies, programs and projects on aquaculture


National and international participants’ expectations were exceeded, and the future of the aquaculture sector in Bolivia looks very promising. Severo Villarroel –UNIBOL Dean- Bolivia

“The enormous potential of this sector is becoming evident, not only for food security, but also for its economic potential. The only way to move forward is by learning.”

“I believe that a key component of the Symposium was the interaction of international, national and local visitors who together have created important networks for the future.” Joachim Carolsfeld –WFT Director - Canada

“Quality of presenters... Recognizing and valuing their training, academic quality and experience ... The human quality towards our University and our people is enormous and I value that.” Rosmery Chura hanco – Co-Dean UNIBOL - Bolivia Melvi Vera Yapura – Student – UNIBOL - Bolivia

“It has been very useful for us as students and for the fish farmers here in attendance.” Maria del Carmen Arenas - Association of multiethnic producers of San Buena Ventura - Bolivia

“We are from the north of La Paz; from the Amazon. We have been river fishers since ancient times

and now we have been venturing into fish farming for about five years. The Symposium has been excellent, with very fluid information and experts; it has been very beneficial for us. Some of the most important things that I am taking with me are the valuable experiences of other countries, the technical aspects and the information from other fish farmers.”

“Bolivia is starting to do fish farming and it needs much training. For that, it needs strong organizations.” Brian Davy – Advisory Committee PPV II - Canada

“I see the future of fish farming in Bolivia as prosperous as in Brazil. Bolivia has everything it needs to

develop in the right direction. The potential of the country is there: the amount of water, the number of species and the people. I believe they have the tools to be prosperous and have the potential to become one of the major producers in South America.” Luis Eduardo Lima –EMBRAPA Researcher – Brazil Rodrigo Daza –PPV II Coordinator - Bolivia

“One of the most important outcomes is having been able to bring everyone together to talk at the same table, stating their interests, expectations and ideas for a better development of the aquaculture sector.”

Contact: Álvaro Céspedes, IMG,


Stories of Success: In my own words Improving families’ quality of life thanks to fish farming: PPVII supports women entrepreneurs. Listen to their story. What talent!

Ana Aguilera and husband Juan Carlos Moreira

“Our family’s quality of life has ©CEPAC

improved. Thanks to our fish production and our restaurant that specializes in grilled fish, we now have economic stability.”

“My husband used to spend a lot of time in the Chaco region. I wanted to work to help him, but my older daughter was still very young and I had to stay and look after her. We worked in several different sectors and spent six years investing in and growing rice with little profitability. One day I heard my mother-in-law talking about fish farming, and so as not to stay home alone, I went with her to a meeting of her association APNI (Association of Fish Farmers Integrated North), and there I heard the explanations by CEPAC technicians on fish culture and also what the other APNI members were talking about. I thought it was interesting, so I joined the Association. The fish farmers had difficulty selling their fish at the beginning. Then I opened up a restaurant (“Tambaquí Palace”), specializing in grilled fish, and we grew. We only bought fish for about a year and a half, until finally we were able to build four ponds to produce our own fish. Everything we sell is from our own production and from the Yapacaní fish farmers. We are fish farmers, not only because it generates an income, but also because it guarantees a supply of fish. I have been a fish farmer since 2011, and was president of APNI in 2012 and 2013. Because I belong to APNI, I received training from CEPAC. I was also trained in fish reproduction in CEPTA in Brazil, thanks to the Project Peces para la Vida Phase I (PPV I) and World Fisheries Trust. The greatest satisfaction is that we have found economic stability through rearing and selling fish. With this income our quality of life has definitely improved. Our children go to private schools; we can buy the things we like, clothes, and school supplies. In general, we are better off than before. My husband and I make decisions together, as a couple; we discuss our options together before deciding.”


Antonia Olpo Cruz

“I was one of the first people to be involved in fish farming. As a woman I am proud to be listened to as an example for other producers. ”

When I returned from Spain, I wasn’t doing anything, and one day I heard on the radio that PPVII-CEPAC were giving courses on fish farming. As I had seen how sardines were raised in cages at sea, I had the idea of raising fish in cages in the river. I intended to fence off a part of the Choré River that runs through my property, but because of the use of agrochemicals in the area I wondered if that would be a good idea. So when I heard about the courses on fish farming I went to register. I was one of the first people to be involved in fish farming in this municipality. For me it was difficult, because the in first year, a cold snap killed half of my fish, which already weighed around 700 g. There was no way to heat the water and I had to seine all the fish because they were going to die. I bought a freezer and filled it with my fish and froze them. I wanted to sell them but the people didn’t know this species very well and they made fun of me. As they were small fish, they told me: “that can’t be pacu; that must be piranha!” ... and I couldn’t sell them. Finally, on Bolivia’s anniversary, I took my fish to the market and cooked them on the grill ... That’s how I sold fish! Whenever there were courses offered by PPVII-CEPAC or at other places, I enrolled. I attended courses on tilapia fish farming and fish processing. They taught us how to make meatballs, nuggets, burgers, etc. I am currently training as a Technical Assistant in fish farming with the Project Peces para la Vida II. I’ve participated in technical exchange visits to San Ignacio de Moxos, and in the creation of the new Fisheries and Aquaculture Law, here in Santa Cruz. As a result of raising fish in an area larger than 12,000 m2, my income has improved. This added capital of fish has allowed me to resume other agricultural activates such as rice cultivation. The children’s schools, my youngest daughter’s daycare, our daily food, are all covered with the profits generated by farming fish. What I earn from growing rice basically only covers the debt for the machinery we use. The remainder of my expenses is supported by fish. “ Contact: Widen Abastoflor, CEPAC,



“I consider myself to be an enterprising woman. I’m always busy doing something. That is why I always dedicate myself to working in several occupations. I planted 400 hectares of rice here in Yapacaní and Beni, but the price went down too much that year and I went bankrupt. So I went to Spain to work for two years to be able to pay off some of the debt that was still owed for agrochemicals.

Technology-Sharing Benefits Productive Family Units One of the main weaknesses identified in the PPVII Project Baseline Study was the lack of skills and knowledge among Bolivian fish farmers. Insufficient access to technical assistance and the inability to apply “Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)”, significantly affect the level of productivity, efficiency and profitability of their operations. PPVII has found a way to utilize technology-sharing as a way to improve productive family units, leading to improved production and income. Only 21% of the population engaged in fish farming have access to specialized technical assistance, reflecting a poor relationship between technicians and suppliers of fish feed, fry or fingerlings, and other supplies. Low levels of education and poor fish farming skills indicate the low level of specialized capabilities. PPVII developed a University-certified Technical Assistance Program to address this lack of specialized training, as part of the project’s focus on technology transfer and communication, which includes gender equity as a cross-cutting theme. Two cohorts of over 70 students have already received their certificates. The Technical Assistance Program includes the following components: 1. Specialized Training: Six-month modular course for “Technical Assistants” (extension agents), accredited by the local university (FINI-UAGRM), including teachers from CEPAC, World Fisheries Trust (Canada), and EMBRAPA (Brazil). 2. Demonstration Units (or Field Schools): Successful Productive Family Units that apply BAPs and provide their ponds for field training with neighboring families. Eleven Demonstration Units have been established so far. 3. Technology Sharing: Peer-peer training mechanisms, using the Demonstration Units as learning centers and the farm owners and Technical Assistance graduates (lead extension agents from 5 municipalities) as facilitators. According to participants, this is leading to happier and more productive fish farmers: G. Flores, Municipal Technician

“We have left the facilitator Alejandro in charge of the whole area. The municipality and Mayor have been dedicated to supporting new fish farmers who are just beginning. I see that the families who participate in the field training are happy because the technical support is closer; several of them already know how to do biometrics. ” A. Olpo, Facilitator, Demonstration Unit, Yapacani

“My main economic venture is fish farming. I have the great satisfaction of having been one of the first ones dedicated to fish farming in this municipality and leading the way for other people to enter this field. In addition, new working opportunities have arisen for many people, and that’s why I like others to come see my ponds and for other families to learn. ” A. Segovia, Partner in the Association Entrepreneurial Women

“The best thing about training is that it is done at the ponds and you can see how other people raise their fish. Most learn because things are explained and you can see the quality of the water, the ponds, how to take measurements and other techniques, you can also ask. I feel good because I have learned a lot. ”

Contact: Widen Abastoflor, CEPAC,


Sustainable Fisheries The Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Law is Enacted The PPV I & II projects contributed to the participative formulation of this law, and are now assisting in publicizing it in coordination with Bolivia’s Legislative Assembly. This historic advance will help regulate and manage the fisheries and aquaculture resources.


The objective of the Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Law No. 938, presented by Ervin Rivero Ziegler -Chairman of the Commission on Social Policy, Education and Health of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly of Bolivia, is to regulate, promote, encourage and manage the use of fisheries and aquaculture resources to ensure the holistic and sustainable development of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

The Law was enacted on May 3, 2017, after the Bill was approved by the Chamber of Senators and by the Amazon Region’s, Land, Territory, Water, Natural Resources and Environment Commission of the Chamber of Deputies. It is a historic advance that will make the sector more visible to the public and help develop supportive policies.

Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Law, Law No. 938


Contact: Roxana Salas, FAUNAGUA,


Fisheries organizations from the Northern Amazon legalize their fishing and commercial activities The legal status of fishing in the Bolivian Northern Amazon is uncertain. One of the goals of the Federation of Fishers, Vendors and Fish Farmers of the Northern Amazon of Bolivia (FEUPECOPINAB) - was to legalize the status of its member associations to improve their economic potential and visibility. PPV has offered legal technical advice and support since its creation in 2012. From September 2016 to the present, six associations of fishers, fish farmers and vendors have obtained legal status while four associations have updated their documentation under the new national regulations. In total, ten Associations are now legally constituted and legitimate. This will allow FEUPECOPINAB to better represent its associations, adding visibility and giving better decision-making power to the fisheries sector, from the ground up.







Association of Amazon Fish Farming Producers Vaca Diez (ASPROPAVD)

Association of Fishers and Vendors 29 de Abril (ASPYC)

Tacana Indigenous Sub Central of the Northern Amazon Region of Beni (APSITRAB)







Association of Amazon Fishers of Riberalta“ASOPESAR”

Association of Fishers and Fish vendors of Riberalta (ASOPROCOPERI)



Women’s Association Association Arapaima of Fishers and Vendors “El Arbolito” (ASOPEC) Asociation of Fishers “16 de Julio” of Cachuela Esperanza







Fisheries Center Rosario del Yata

Association of Fishers, Fish Farming Producers and Vendors of Beni and Pando (ASOPRYC)

Contact: Roxana Salas, FAUNAGUA,


Value chain Creating Shared Values with Fishing: A Good Deal for All! The creation of shared values is one of the pillars of the “Business Models” implemented by PPV II and informed by a technical exchange with VanCity Credit Union in Canada. Shared value focuses on identifying and strengthening the links between social and financial components of local economies, creating economic value through reinforced social value. This concept is not about charity; rather it’s about entrepreneurs or business owners changing their mentality of “profit first, independent of whom or how this affects others”. By taking into account the social environment in which they operate, and being aware of social needs and benefits which can be achieved, these new business models help provide improved long-term profit. PPVII is promoting the adoption of the “shared value” concept for stakeholders in the fishing sector to revitalize their business activities. Improving fish prices through improved Best Practices in Handling and Conservation throughout the supply chain provides better and safer fish for the consumers. Good working relationships and trust are being developed between urban, indigenous and commercial fishers through the creation of formal work agreements. Based on their experience, the entrepreneurs or vendors assisted by PPVII recognize that a “sustainable” fish processing or commercial company is one that manages to be competitive, while creating value equitably for its suppliers and for the society in which it interacts and not at the expenseof it. Working toward this model is a win-win, generating sustainable work for fishing families, social benefits, and a better quality product for consumers.

“Suzaño” BUSINESS MODEL The fish processing company “Suzaño” is applying these “shared values” principles. It has begun constructing its new facilities, receiving support from PPV II on the design features and through microcredit funding from CIDRE IFD. The new facility will specialize in processing paiche and native fish species, following FAO’s Codex Alimentarius guidelines and the Technical Regulation of Bolivia’s National Service of Animal Health and Food Safety (SENASAG). The processing plant will be the first of its kind in Bolivia processing fish and fish products certified by the National Authority (SENASAG), and will act as a reference model for the sector as a whole in providing safe and nutritious fish products.


Construction of the Fish Processing Plant Suzaño

“To improve the price of the fish that is paid to


the fishers in Riberalta, we must work together to improve the quality of the product, starting with the way it’s fished. We want to generate sustainable work for fishing families. We want to work to develop suitable labor agreements for fishers and wholesalers.” Edson Suzaño

Industrial Water Filtration System Construction

“Marvin” BUSINESS MODEL The processing company “Marvin” has more than five years of experience producing value-added fish products from paiche meat, building on the training received in PPVI from the Argentinean chef Vicente Cuevas. As a female entrepreneur, Marvin has developed a business model for scaling-up that specifically includes consideration of stakeholder interests along the value chain. Marvin has recently learned about equipment necessary to achieve semi- industrial production, and, with the help of PPVII, her business is now in the testing stage. She produces delicious hamburgers, sausages, ham, nuggets and fish sticks, all using paiche meat. New packaging will diversify product presentation, making it more convenient and appealing to the discerning consumers, while also guaranteeing its nutritional quality and taste. Development of brand image, logo design and promotional material

Creation of new products And Paiche Meat Presentations

Paiche fillets for processing

Vacuum packed Paiche sausage

Marvin Senseve

“Fishers and vendors must work as partners. I want to provide social benefits for my team of fishers.” Contact: Álvaro Céspedes, IMG, Roberto Castro, IMG, Andres Rocabado, IMG,


Developing national quality standards for fish products


PPVII has been working closely with the National Service of Agricultural Health and Food Safety (SENASAG) in the participatory development of their technical regulation: “Sanitary Requirements for the Handling, Processing, Transportation and Commercialization of Fish and Its Products”.

The regulation will be used as a basis to develop a practical guide for fish processing companies, transporters, vendors and others who handle fish at the national level. Agreements have been reached with the five Municipalities in the PPVII core region to collectively create a user’s manual for municipal officials, producers and vendors. This will Improve the quality of fish being offered and consumed by Bolivian families.

Contact: Álvaro Céspedes, IMG,


Platforms Make Headway Platforms are local or regional roundtables or forums that engage all levels of stakeholders on the topics of fisheries or aquaculture, in order to respond to specific needs and priorities. Social Capacity for Local Development, Institutional Regulations, and Fisheries Innovation Plans have been completed, enabling Platforms to now function independently. These tools have helped generate capacity, define institutional frameworks and give direction which enables the full consolidation, development and implementation of each Platform. Platform regulations, used to regulate its strategic and operational planning, have been approved by the municipalities of Puerto Villarroel and Entre Ríos in Cochabamba. Through the enactment of municipal laws, platforms receive legal recognition as spaces for technical consultation and the private-public planning that is essential for the development of the aquaculture sector. Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Plans have been developed with the active participation of stakeholders, allowing them to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the fishery and aquaculture sectors in each municipality. The proposed actions respond to specific needs, and the solutions include actions that will improve and increase the production and consumption of fish meat. The successful development of these platforms was largely due to the experiences shared by Canadian Roundtables during a technical visit of Bolivians to Canada in 2015. These included visits to the World Fisheries Trust, University of Victoria, Cowichan River Roundtable, the West Coast Aquatics Board, and Clayoquot Bioshpere Trust, a roundtable discussion with the Vancouver Aquarium, First Nations Fisheries Council, EcoTrust, and VanCity, and the Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Development Corporation. Development Plan for the Municipality of Puerto Villarroel: Development I. Organizational strengthening with gender equity

II. Increased production and productivity

Strategic Objective

Number of Projects Identified

• Consolidate the multi-stakeholder platform within a


• Expand and improve the installed infrastructure capacity


• Increase and improve knowledge and production

4 5 5 4

context of equity

(ponds) in the municipality

management in fish farmers

• Expand or improve feed production infrastructure • Extend and / or improve fry/fingerling production infrastructure

III. Expansion and improvement of commercialization and access to markets IV. Installation and improvement of support infrastructure

• Improve and incorporate conditions for innovation and technological optimization in production and post-harvest • Consolidate the regional and local market • Promote and strengthen market access

• Reduce the transfer time of goods and materials and accelerate commercialization operations

5 3 3 38


Participants in the platform-building process have seen direct benefits for their families and for the community in general: Virginia Villaroel, Senda 2 de Agosto Municipality of Puerto Villarroel

“The platform helps everyone, including our friends, our children, my family and my children’s children. If there were no workshops there would be no production. It helps us live better and more peacefully.” Miguel Cartagena, President of the Association of Fish Farmers of Puerto Villarroel

“The benefit of the platform is not for me alone, but for all people. I think that the Platform will support

us in some projects; from both the municipality and the government. I think it can help us improve fish production, the quality of feed and fish fry/fingerling genetics. “ Edmundo Mamani, District III, Municipality of Puerto Villarroel

“The Platform is there to improve fish production, and is very necessary for marketing. Now we have


to integrate ourselves and work towards obtaining financial support from the municipal, departmental, national, and international levels. There are many NGOs, and some institutions that can help us. We need participation from producers, funders, technical experts, and government at the municipal, departmental and national level. It has to be integrated.”

Platform meetings in the Municipality of Entre Rios Contact: Álvaro Céspedes, IMG, Eulogio Vargas, IMG, Jesus Arevalo, IMG,


Gender and Social Equity Second Gathering of Aquaculture Leaders for Women to “Exercise our Economic Rights”


A second gathering of aquaculture leaders was held to foster the effective role of women in the fish farming sector.

This gathering encouraged participants to develop management plans that facilitate the economic empowerment and capacity of women in their organizations and strengthen the development of fish farming in their communities. The meeting, held in Yapacani on Feb. 27-28, 2017, was attended by 25 women and 24 men, representing 14 producer organizations from the municipalities of Yapacaní, San Carlos, Entre Ríos and Puerto Villarroel. The representatives from the organizations improved their awareness about these themes after conducting an exercise on rights and reflecting on how to promote equitable participation of men and women in their organizations, how to increase capacity and participation in decision-making positions, and how to improve the effective participation and voice of women. Participants developed a plan to strengthen their organizations in three key management areas: governance, production, and commerce. These activities will continue to be supported by PPVII and the Network of Local Technical Aquaculture Assistants, who have also been trained in these themes. Over the next few months, PPVII team will monitor these associations in the hopes of seeing specific improvements and positive change.

Contact: Widen Abastoflor, CEPAC, Verónica Hinojosa, CEPAC,


Financial Services Public-Private Consultation is a Key Tool for Productive Development Since the 1990s, a set of financial services has been promoted to strengthen the productive sectors in Bolivia, in particular, the agricultural sector, which plays a significant role in national food security. The National Government has implemented a financial policy that gives the public sector a very active role in operational and regulative aspects. The Productive Development Bank SAM (BDP), is the main governmental actor for this, created to strengthen productive activities by working directly with the public and with different entities of the national financial system. PPVII’s partner in microfinance, CIDRE IFD, provides services that work well within the current financial policy, and since November 2016, have been negotiating a Framework Agreement for Inter-institutional Cooperation and Strategic Alliance with the BDP, to complement the services and products offered by both entities. Nine management contracts for different sectors have been signed with the BDP, including a strong focus on strengthening fisheries and aquaculture sectors. This demonstrates the desire of both entities to create and use financial products to strengthen agricultural sectors that directly affect (and can improve) food security and sovereignty. Over the next five years, innovations of joint financing or technical assistance interventions will be linked to financial services for producers, to strengthen both the new national financial policy, and the agricultural sector, thus improving Bolivia’s food security.

“Development agents” in the financial system are key in linking banking with economic stakeholders In February 2017, two senior executives from CIDRE attended a meeting on Best Practices with Banco do Nordeste do Brasil (BdN), to search for ways to improve access to CIDRE’s services. BdN is one of the largest and most successful microfinance entities in Latin America, in part because of Development Agents it has created to investigate the needs of each economic sector it serves and adapt financial products to the specific requirements of each. This has allowed BdN to link directly with key players from each of the sectors, and contribute significantly to the local economies. Analyzing the BdN experience, and how they managed to connect with the fishing and fish farming sectors, will serve CIDRE IFD in its efforts to scale up its services. Linking complementary activities of applied research and financial services, and maintaining this knowledge-sharing partnership will allow CIDRE to develop financial products which are more appropriate for the economic stakeholders it serves. Contact: Julio Alem, CIDRE,


CESO and Canada’s VanCity assist CIDRE’s development as a Bolivian Bank The relationship between CIDRE and Canadian institutions was further strengthened through a strategic agreement between CIDRE and the Canadian Overseas Executive Service (CESO-SACO), resulting out of contacts from CIDRE’s participation in a PPVII technical visit to Canada in 2015.


This project is assisting CIDRE as they evolve into a fully chartered Bolivian bank. Through this project, CESOSACO has offered training and expert advice to CIDRE IFD’s executive staff to help improve their different institutional strategies and the future bank “Banco Pyme de Mi Tierra S.A.”, which will be the CIDRE’s new legal entity. This has included a recent consultative visit by Van City’s chief enterprise architect (time donated by VanCity), and an ongoing relationship with Van City, one of Canada’s leading values-based financial co-operatives (facilitated by WFT). Internships for CIDRE development officers at VanCity in Vancouver are planned over the next six months. From left to right: Santiago Laserna (Head of Planning and Control CIDRE IFD), Julio Alem (National Manager of Projects and Innovations CIDRE IFD), Nick Stitt (Project Leader CESO-SACO), Álvaro Moscoso (General Manager CIDRE IFD ).

This spin-off project is contributing to institutional strengthening within the PPVII, through advice on various areas, including the implementation of training units and the design of new complementary services, such as insurance and leasing. Together, this allows the PPV II project to scale the impact of its financial solutions throughout the country.

Financing is Scaled Up for Fish Production Since the Project’s inception, CIDRE has offered its financial services to help scale up the fishing and fish farming industries in Bolivia, focusing not only on pacú production and paiche fishing, but also on the production and consumption of other fish species. Disbursement of funds since the first quarter of 2015: Credit Destination ACTIVITIES OF SERVICES RELATED TO FISHERIES PROCESSING AND PRESERVING FISH AND FISH PRODUCTS OPERATION OF FISH NURSERIES AND FISH FARMS LAKE FISHING RIVER FISHING FOOD SERVICES EXCLUSIVE TO FISH TOTAL GENERAL

Amount Disbursed in US $ 177,942 20,493 552,781 52,070 119,127 96,002 1,018,415

Number of Operations 1 7 44 15 78 25 170

Average Amount Disbursed 177,942 2,928 12,563 3,471 1,527 3,840 5,991


There is a high concentration of lending operations in aquaculture and river fishing, but also a significant contribution of PPV II services in support of restaurants which exclusively serve fish, and in lake fishing. However, the highest loans disbursed have been related to aquaculture activities.

PANDO 16,764 US $

30 Operations

16 Operations

Average: 1,048 US $


Average: 3,562 US $

106,870 US $


269,035 US $


48 Operations

263,694 US $

Average: 5,605 US $

42 Operations

Average: 6,278 US $



3,601 US $

Operations Average: 1,800 US $


1 Operation

346,955 US $

TARIJA 10,768 US $

26 Operations

Average: 13,344 US $


Operations Average: 2,154 US $

This scaling-up has occurred at various levels along the production value chain, and geographically within the nine Bolivia Departments. The map shows that PPVII’s financial services are concentrated in the Bolivian Amazon and the core region of the Project but also extend to other regions of the country, including the Department of La Paz, where trout farms play an important economic role. In total, 170 operations have received financing, at an average of $ 5,991 USD per operation, with a total disbursement of $ 1,018,415 USD.

Contact: Julio Alem, CIDRE,


News in Brief Brazilian Expert in fisheries management shares his knowledge with Amazonian fishers The Brazilian fisheries management expert, Mauro Rufino, visited Bolivia in March 2017 to share his experiences and knowledge of the fisheries sector with fishers and government officials. This continues the project’s support of South-South development collaboration. To take advantage of this visit, an event was hosted by the Municipality of Riberalta that included a wide participation of individuals involved in the fishery. A second event was held in Trinidad and hosted by CIRA-UAB, including the participation of Senator Erwin Rivero Ziegler, who took advantage of the occasion to share the significant advances of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Law (now official!) and its importance for the Bolivian population. Dr. Ruffino explained that based on the traditional knowledge of the fishers in Brazil, an innovative method for paiche management has been developed that includes co-management and aims at promoting social equality using the foundation of shared Governance. He added that co-management does not occur naturally, it is a social construct that arises from the recognition of the sector’s problems: resource depletion, conflicts between users, conflict between the State and users, and conflicts between government agencies, among others. In Brazil, the co-management approach arose not to displace models of scientific management and community management, but to integrate them into a structure of collaboration between different sources of knowledge, interests and functions. An important conclusion to Mauro’s visit is the recognition that the construction of forums and other management tools must be real spaces for political and interest negotiation for the various organizations dedicated to fishing. Mauro will return to Bolivia in October (26-28) to present in the I Ichthyology Congress in Cochabamba.

South-south development collaboration on Aquaculture Brazilian contribution to the project has been particularly strong in 2016, with the participation of many experts from EMBRAPA (Luiz Lima de Freitas (Lula), Marcela Mataveli and Patricia Oliveira) teaching in the aquaculture training courses building on earlier contributions by staff from CEPTA (Paulinho Ceccarelli). High quality researchers such as Lula, as well as the head of aquaculture research, Eric Routledge, presented in the aquaculture conference, and contributed significantly to the project review meeting, sharing lessons learned. This recognizes the relevance of the Brazilian experience and expertise to Bolivian aquaculture development and the importance of South-South partnerships. The staff time for these contributions is being donated by the respective Brazilian institutions, based on a relationship with WFT, and there is substantial interest to continue assistance in future projects on a more official basis to achieve even greater development outcomes.

EMBRAPA news story

Embrapa collaborates to improve Bolivian fisheries and aquaculture

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Canadian delegation and Advisory Committee visit the project Coincident with the Aquaculture Conference, the project’s Advisory Committee met for the first time in person in December 2016, and IDRC’s Senior Program Officer (Delphine Larousse) conducted a mid-term project review visit. The Advisory Committee, consisting of Drs. Armando Ferrufino (Bolivia), Brian Davy (Canada), and Doris Soto (Chile) paid a short visit to aquaculture installations, observed a peer-to-peer training course in action, and met with the different project partners. The general conclusions were that the project is progressing positively and must effectively track the changes being seen and the scaling-up process. The communication team has shifted its priorities and is utilizing new techniques and software to better share its messages through video and social media.

Graduate Student Progress Three graduate students are being supported by PPVII in the Geography Department at UVic: PhD candidate Alison MacNaughton recently finished her candidacy exams and is preparing for her field work and presentation in the First Bolivian Congress in Ichthyology 2017. She is also organizing sessions at the XVI Biennial IASC Conference ‘Practicing the commons: self-governance, cooperation, and institutional change’ conference in Utrecht, Netherlands from July 10-14th 2017, and the Resilience 2017 conference in Stockholm, Sweden from August 21-24 where she will present preliminary findings from her field work in Bolivia. Sean Irwin is currently in full writing mode, to complete his PhD thesis, having completed five chapters which are under review by his supervisory committee. Master’s student Ahmed Eid will be diving into his field work in Riberalta and Cochabamba lowlands over the next few months and returning to Victoria in September 2017 to complete his thesis.

Presentation at Global Affairs On November 28th, the PPVII project was presented at an aquaculture information session organized by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in Ottawa. This has created greater informal communications channels with GAC managers, to improve communications on project advances – including a follow-up visit in February, 2017. In addition, World Fisheries Trust Staff, on behalf of PPVII followed up on issues with several other participants: the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for potential collaboration on follow-up proposals, Koenders Windmills to examine the potential for their products in Bolivia, and IDRC on questions of gender equity, microfinancing, and scaling-up research. On April 4th 2017 PPVII presented project updates and lessons learned in Gender Mainstreaming to GAC staff from La Paz Bolivia offices, and 2 members of the organization FAUTAPO involved in the Aquaculture project funded by GAC in Southern Bolivia. Since then, we have shared several project documents to help improve their project activities and impacts. These knowledge exchanges are very beneficial to projects starting up, and help add value to all involved.

Conference participation Dr. Mark Flaherty of the University of Victoria showcased the PPVII Project at the Aquaculture Canada & Sea Farmers 2017 Conference held in Halifax, Canada from May 28-30 and presented research findings of PhD candidate Sean Irwin’s thesis on social and economic value chain analysis of aquaculture in the Bolivian Amazon.


Lastest publications Aquaculture Geoportal

An interactive, map-based web portal describing both the current status of tropical aquaculture in Bolivia and factors to be considered in its future development has been launched ( This has been a collaborative work between governmental INIAF, IDP-Pacu, the consulting firm Amandes SRL, Faunagua, and other partners of PPVII.

SEE Online

“Bases técnicas para el manejo y aprovechamiento del paiche (Arapaima gigas) en la cuenca amazónica boliviana” Carvajal-Vallejos F.M., Salas R., Navia J., Carlosfeld J., Moreno Aulo F., Van Damme P.A., INIAF-IDRC-Editorial INIA, Bolivia, 508 p.

A co-published book with the governmental research organization INIAF (National Institute for Agriculture and Forestry Research) and IDRC, is providing scientific support for policy recommendations. This type of public policy influence is one of the main strategies for supporting scaling up of fisheries, improving legal access to, and management of, the paiche fisheries resources. This INIAF-IDRC book is the combined efforts of Bolivian, Canadian, and international researchers, working with indigenous leaders and urban-based fishers. It responds to a desire for greater opportunities in local development of paiche and other fisheries based on technical and scientific knowledge. In addition to digital distribution through social media and list servers, 2,000 copies of the book have been printed and are being distributed. PDF

Clips Women entrepreneurs advancing and changing their lives with fish farming (in spanish) SEE IN YOUTUBE

UDINNOVA coverage on Development and Innovation Days (in spanish) in

In Social Networks Follow the activities of Amazon Fish for Food and receive news about the fisheries and fish farming sectors: LINK LINK

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Bulletin n°04 Fourth Semester, August 2017  

Bulletin n°04 Fourth Semester, August 2017 Amazon Fish for Food Stories of Success!

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