Bolivia: A Fridge Transforms the Businesses of 300 Women

Justina Quispe, a beekeeper from the municipality of Padcaya, in Tarija, shows her honeybee products during the bio-fair where producers showcased their products. (Copyright: WFP/Ximena Loza)

A group of 300 Bolivian beekeepers, among 1,000 ecological producers, celebrate the inauguration of a fridge that will allow them to preserve their products, guaranteeing its sale in a near future and generate income for their families. This project receives the support of the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F).

LA PAZ. --“Our biggest dream is to sell our products to the school meals in the city in order to obtain a secure market and that way increase our markets,” says Justina Quispe, one of the 300 benefited women who belong to the Association of Economic Organizations of the Women of Padcaya, located in the Province of Aniceto Arce, south of Bolivia, located 45 kilometres from the capital of the department, Tarija. Besides the support of its municipal government, Justina and the women's association received WFP's technical assistance and training on how to operate the fridge.

Before the inauguration of the fridge, which will benefit more than 1,000 small producers, the ecological producers of the municipalities of Padcaya and Uriondo showcased their products in a “bio-fair” in which they received the government's seal of ecological production.

The purchase and the installation of this fridge was coordinated by WFP and the Ministry of Rural and Land Development (MDRyT, in Spanish), through the National Council of Ecological Production (CNAPE, in Spanish), the Departmental Committee of Ecological Production of Tarija and the Municipal Committees of Ecological Production from the municipalities of Padcaya and Uriondo.

Added Value

“With the fridge, we are achieving the machinery and the equipment that we all have wanted to give added value to our products and also access new markets,” says Claudia Tanquiro, from the municipality of Uriondo, who belongs to the Association of Ecological Producers of Tarija, comprised of 20 producer families of fruits and vegetables. Together with the association, they commercialize compote, marmalade and pickles that are distributed to ecological supermarkets in Tarija and La Paz. For now, they count on a limited market, but thanks to the fridge they will be able store products, such as grapes and process them during the winter.

The purchase of the fridge and the technical support to the women producers is part of the Joint Programme “Integration of Andean Indigenous Producers into New Chains of National and World Value,” which is funded by the Millenium Development Goals Fund (MDG-F) of the Spanish Government. The programme boost actions that ecological agriculture in the towns of Uriondo and Padcaya, whose residents produce potatoes, onions, corn, amaranth, wheat, other vegetables and fruits.