Student Fishfarmers: Fishfarming in a school of the Bolivian Amazon

Project location: BOLIVIA
Project start date: January 2003 - Project end date: January 2005
Project number: 2003-16
Beneficiary: Centro de Estudios Amazònicos

Most of the rural population of the Amazonian lowlands of Bolivia live in extreme poverty conditions. With the development of fish farming CEAM intends to protect the environment and the natural resources, improve people's nutritional and socio-economic standards and train them to control the means of production, diminishing their dependence on outsiders.

The present project, co-financed by the Nando Peretti Foundation,  plans to develop a fish breeding system in the Arajuruana boarding school of San Ignacio de Moxos with the purpose of: improving the diet and the standards of living of the local population, including the Arajuruana students and teachers; protecting the environment and preserving natural resources; training students to be rural fish farmers.

The Arajuruana boarding school, founded by the Society of Jesus, provides primary education for 90 indigenous boys and girls of the Moxos province. The school has very limited economic resources so the students' diet basically consists of rice, plantain and manioc and their intake of proteins is low due to the high prices of meat. Most of them come from very poor families who live from subsistence farming in the tropical rain forest, producing a negative environmental impact.

Some of the Moxos communities are successfully implementing rural fish farming under HOYAM direction. The boarding school students training will help to spread and consolidate fish farming in the region while offering them a promising future option. The project plans to build two ponds of 2.300 m² each for pacú (Colossoma macropomum) and sábalo (Prochylodus nigricans) in the school fields and the foreseen annual production (1800 kg of fish) will provide students a protein-rich diet throughout the year.

These pictures refer to the various stages of development of the project.

(above) the land as it was at the start of the project;

(above) excavation work begins...

(above) first traces of water;

(above and below) the fish farm completed;

(above) colllecting the eggs;

(above) the larvae;

(above) alevins, young fish caught


(above) juvenile samples caught;

students enjoying a meal based on fish.

Fishfarming students.

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