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FAO value chain analysis can help artisanal fishers in Peru recover from COVID-19

Scientists building resilience of artisanal fishing communities trained in FISH4ACP approach

16 April 2021, Lima/Rome – An international team of researchers working to help artisanal fisherfolk in Peru overcome the impact of the corona pandemic was trained by FAO experts in a value chain approach aiming to make the sector more resilient if a future crisis hits.

Artisanal fisheries in Peru were hard hit when COVID-19 struck last year, jeopardizing the stability of a sector that provides an income to over 67 000 fishermen and brings healthy food on the table across the Latin American nation, one of the world’s major fish producers.

Now, a team of scientists from all over the world has joined forces to work on ways to make Peru’s artisanal fishing sector more resilient to a next wave of corona or any other threat.

“We want to understand how Peruvian fishermen responded to COVID-19 and come up with solutions to reactivate the sector,” said the lead scientist Jaime Mendo of the Universidad Agraria La Molina, adding: “To do this successfully, we have to look at the whole value chain.”

In February 2021, the researchers were trained by FAO experts on a value chain approach that the UN agency is applying under FISH4ACP, an innovative new programme currently rolling out a massive value chain analysis in the twelve African, Caribbean and Pacific countries where it operates.

The outcome of these assessments will set the agenda of FISH4ACP’s work over the coming years to make fisheries and aquaculture value chains in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific more sustainable.

"A value chain approach brings an in-depth perspective on sustainability that will enable us to identify what needs to be done to help artisanal fisheries recover from any crisis situation, such as the current health crisis," Mendo said.

FISH4ACP’s approach is based on a methodology that follows the guiding principles of the FAO sustainable food value chains (SFVC), as well as the Value Chains Analysis for development (VCA4D), promoted by the European Union (EU).

The research project in Peru, called Increasing resilience in fishing communities to impacts of COVID-19 in northern Peru, will focus on Piura region, one of Peru’s main artisanal fishing areas.

The research team is made up of scientists from the University of San Andrews (Scotland), Fundación del Desarrollo Agrario of Universidad Agraria La Molina (FDA-UNALM) and REDES and has technical support from FAO and CSIRO (Australia). The work is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

FISH4ACP is led by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) implemented by FAO with funding from the European Union (EU) German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).