Sustainable livelihoods for families

Strengthening the livelihoods of peasant families in Colquencha

Project title: Strengthening the livelihoods of peasant families in Colquencha
Operating name: Colquencha Slopes Project
Location: municipal jurisdiction of Colquencha, La Paz, Bolivia
Duration: 2009-2013

This project is working with 800 peasant families in Bolivia, to increase their incomes,and significantly improve their productivity and access to markets and basic services. It will help develop dairy farming as the main economic activity, improving the productive capacity of the population without neglecting the diversification of profitable crops, which is always necessary. To reach this goal, the project will:

  1. strengthen the milk production chain,
  2. promote a better interaction between the different actors, and
  3. develop the capacities to have a clear understanding of how the market operates.

In order to overcome the weakness of local institutions, the project will strengthen the social and productive organizations and the municipal government. The aim is to achieve a better participatory planning and management, particularly on issues related to economic development, thereby contributing to the consolidation and continuity of the productive and business development of Colquencha. The intervention will be reinforced with actions for the management and conservation of natural resources, particularly soil and water.

Colquencha: challenges and potentialities

The livelihoods of the population of Colquencha are weak and insecure as a result of a 'depressed' agricultural economy, with no profits and low levels of production, productivity and quality. The problems in the production are the result of the use of poor traditional practices, poor livestock management practices and a poor utilization of water for the production of pasture and crops. Other factors that add to the problem are the lack of productive infrastructure, soil erosion and degradation due to inadequate agricultural and herding practices, and the lack of technical assistance services.

The producers have a limited knowledge of the market and have not experimented with new forms of organization that could bring a change in the social relations and contribute to increase their income adding value to their milk.

As regards to local institutions, after 14 years implementing and applying community participation and administrative decentralization, most municipalities in Bolivia can identify the problems that prevent a real and effective participation of the civil society in municipal management and, consequently, in social development. The needs of small producers cannot be included in the agendas of the Municipal Development Plan and the Annual Operating Budget. The lack of technical training and the lack of knowledge of the roles, rights and obligations of the authorities result in a limited social control.

Sustainable livelihoods for families in Colquencha

Information bulletin on the Colquencha Slopes project in La Paz, Bolivia, running from 2009-2013.

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