Social Protection for Fisheries and Aquaculture (SocPro4Fish)

Workshop in celebration of World Food Day 2023


A one-day workshop was held to share ideas and perspectives on the "River Corridor" Initiative to promote understanding and effective collaboration between social protection and sustainable water resources management. The workshop was attended by the initiators of the proposal, representatives of various public agencies and academia. On Tuesday, October 4, the workshop entitled "Social Protection, Food and Nutrition Security and Water Resources: An Integrated Approach for a Sustainable Future" organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as part of the World Food Day celebrations was held at the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the National College of Asuncion. 

On the occasion of World Food Day, which is celebrated every year on October 16, FAO carries out various awareness-raising activities worldwide, such as conferences, reports, lectures, courses, and communication activities, such as the lighting of iconic buildings in member countries.  

As part of this global initiative, the FAO Office in Paraguay established a calendar of activities in collaboration with public and academic institutions and civil and social organizations. 

At this year's commemoration, FAO Paraguay focused on social protection in the fisheries and aquaculture sector because of its importance to food and nutrition security. "Social protection in the fisheries and aquaculture sector is central to increasing the adaptive capacity of fisheries and aquaculture-dependent households, responding to covariate and idiosyncratic shocks, strengthening compliance to sustainable fisheries management strategies, promoting decent working conditions, and advancing economic inclusion," said Daniella Salazar, FAO Fisheries Officer in Rome, who was in the country on a technical mission to conduct a series of meetings with sector authorities and field visits. 

She explained that FAO is working with Paraguay to develop tools that support the livelihoods of fisheries-dependent populations and the sustainability of fisheries resources, with a focus on gender equality for fishers, fish farmers, and aquaculture workers. 

On the occasion of the WFD celebration, the workshop "Social Protection, Food and Nutrition Security and Water Resources: an Integrated Approach for a Sustainable Future" was organized to analyze and expand the "River Corridor" initiative, which brings together the communities of the Eastern Region bordering the Paraguay River. 

Participants included authorities and technical officers from the Ministries of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADES), Social Development (MDS), and Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), as well as the Technical Unit of the Social Cabinet (UTGS), the Binational Unit Yacyretâ (EBY), several faculties of the National University of Asunción (UNA), and representatives of the cities that make up the River Corridor.

"River Corridor" Initiative 

With the aim of strengthening the economic and productive inclusion of its citizens, in 2022, the cities of Villeta, Pilar, Villa Franca, Villa Oliva and Alberdi embarked on the River Corridor project, which uses the methodology of the Hand in Hand initiative of the FAO. It is developed within the framework of the Social Protection System, coordinated by the Technical Unit of the Social Cabinet. According to prospects, these cities will be joined by others, such as Tacuaras and Guazu Cuá, whose authorities received information on the initiative. 

In Paraguay, FAO, among other areas, is supporting this initiative through the Social Protection area. The Organization's representative in the country, Agustín Zimmermann, stresses the importance of working along these lines. 

"Social protection systems are essential. What FAO is doing with local actors, in this case with the Social Cabinet, is providing technical assistance for policy design and then its implementation," he stressed.  

FAO technical cooperation 

In January 2023, the Director-General of FAO, Mr. QU Dongyu, visited Paraguay and learned the details of the project. On that occasion, he stated that FAO was ready to help in the elaboration of a feasibility project, capacity building, technical training, and, above all, in the preparation of an investment plan. 

He stressed that the communities "really have a strategic location" that could allow them to establish an "international zone." He also said that one of the first actions would be to "identify the industries and initiatives to be developed," mentioning that potential areas could be agriculture, fishing, and tourism since they are close to the border towns. For the River Corridor initiative, three criteria of the Hand-in-Hand approach were considered": 

  • Socioeconomic profile of the district: subregion with tourism, services and agro-industrial profile, with fishing potential and with border cities with Argentina. 

  • Territorial proximity: Subregion for the development of projects that require economies of scale or socioeconomic and cultural integration, among others. 

  • Block integration: sub-region with export, environmental, tourism and landscape corridors that make the area an attraction for economic and infrastructure investments.