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Helping Indigenous families make a living in rural Bolivia

Faustina Perez Tomina, a beneficiary in Chuquisaca, Bolivia, tends to her trees.
Credits: © SOCODEVI 2022

In Bolivia, rural Indigenous families continue to lack opportunities to improve their livelihoods and transition out of subsistence farming. Producers and local authorities lack the capacity to promote rural diversification and green value chains that link local farmers to broader national and international markets. Through the Improving Living Conditions and Health in Rural and Indigenous Communities in Chuquisaca (PROMAVI) project, Canada has helped over 2,100 Indigenous owned family businesses in Bolivia begin producing, industrializing and commercializing Tara pods. This extract comes from a small plant and is used in the tanning, cosmetics and food industries.

Developing this green value chain will ultimately increase the income of Indigenous families in the region, particularly for women. It will also reduce extreme poverty in rural areas and aid the post COVID 19 economic recovery. In addition, this plant will improve soil quality by fixing nitrogen and capturing carbon while promoting biodiversity and helping address the impacts of climate change.

“We joined the program with the idea of getting some extra income, so we planted 600 trees. But a flood washed away more than 200 trees. To me, that was not an obstacle. On the contrary, it was a lesson, and I’m now officially part of the board of directors of ANAPROD, the national association of diversified producers,” says Faustina Perez Tomina, a farmer in Chuquisaca, Bolivia.

“I can tell you my family was very happy when I told them that I was on the board of directors and that they had promised to teach me other mobile apps so I could take part in the activities that would be presented.”

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