Aquaculture and rural livelihoods in the Bolivian Amazon - Systems of Innovation and pro-poor technology development

Canal Beeby, Elisa (2012) Aquaculture and rural livelihoods in the Bolivian Amazon - Systems of Innovation and pro-poor technology development. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis is about pro-poor agricultural innovations and smallholder development in Amazonia. The focus is on aquaculture in the Bolivian Amazon, with particular reference to indigenous territories. An Innovation Systems framework is used to analyse aquaculture Research and Development at a national level and its relevance to small farmers. The analysis of poverty-focused technology development at the project and farm levels is aided by a Knowledge Engineering Approach for agricultural research management and Livelihoods perspectives. The data comes from interviews with fish farmers and other actors, on-farm and on-station research and livelihoods surveys.
Indigenous-species aquaculture can help integrate conservation and development efforts in the region. Nevertheless, a weak innovation system, with limited participation of the public sector, and underdeveloped markets greatly limit poorer farmers’ access to aquaculture technologies. Furthermore, low-external-input systems often promoted as ‘pro-poor’ have limited growth potential whilst requiring considerable skills and labour, both of which tend to be in short supply in Amazonia. Development and poverty reduction objectives might be best met by supporting small and medium-scale commercial aquaculture in areas with access to input/output markets, developing institutional innovations in the provision of inputs and credit and building producer associations for bulk marketing. Given limited resources, priority should be given to reinforce existing innovation networks, largely within the private sector.
Indigenous farmers with access to markets can also benefit from aquaculture with a commercial approach. There is considerable evidence of farmers in indigenous territories diversifying their production to include more market-oriented farming, as well as activities in the non-farm sector and wage labour. Here, interest in and access to aquaculture is influenced by location (access to markets and environmental settings), income portfolio and type of livelihoods diversification.
The research has important implications for rural aquaculture development in the Bolivian Amazon and provides relevant data about livelihoods and change in indigenous communities and their implications for Conservation and Development Projects in Amazonia

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Stacey Armes
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2015 10:10
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2015 10:10


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