BOLIVIA: Agricultural project provides food, income to improve life in rural communities
Global facilitates an eco-sustainability project providing agro-pastoral training in Cochabamba
(MissionNewswire) Bosco Global, supported by the Agency for Development Cooperation of Extremadura, facilitates an eco-sustainability project to improve life for those living in rural communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The project’s agro-pastoral training engages farmers and ranchers to be involved in the mechanisms and policies of food production and distribution. It also fosters the involvement and empowerment of women.
Through training, farmers and ranchers learn more about growing potatoes and vegetables in greenhouses, pest management and control, opening field nurseries for pine production, community breeding of pigs, and community breeding of fish, especially trout, in special tanks.
Beneficiaries of the project have shared their experiences. One recipient noted, “At the course, we learned how to manage the cultivation of potatoes, and we shared the knowledge with our base camp. This is important for us, to be able to learn something.” A farmer said, “We have improved our nutrition compared to our previous life.” A young woman in the program added, “They helped us to create the fields and construct trout tanks.”
The use of improved seeds in potato cultivation, in addition to the correct use of fertilizers and fungicides, has made it possible for farmers to obtain much higher yields. They have reached an average of 25 tons per hectare, while with the use of traditional seeds, their yields were only 6 and 12 tons per hectare. In 2019, the potato harvest benefited 54 families while in 2020 it directly reached 91.
Ten families from seven different communities have benefited from the pig farm. The center sells Serrano-type ham, smoked ham, pork salami, llama salami, and grilled chorizo to the Hipermaxi and Ticti markets, north of the city of Cochabamba. The money raised helps to support the families and ongoing efforts of the Salesian farm.
Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and has the most unequal income distribution on the continent. It is common for Bolivians to struggle to find adequate nutrition, shelter and other basic necessities. The geography of Bolivia contributes to the overwhelming poverty of its residents. Large swaths of the country remain undeveloped with a lack of roads and infrastructure.
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Salesian Missions – Bolivia
World Bank – Bolivia