Bolivia, Santa Cruz, 25 September, 2020
The Livestock Merit Award was presented by Fegasacruz, the Federation of Stockbreeders of Santa Cruz in Bolivia, acknowledging Agriterra’s contribution to the livestock sector.
One of the main achievements of the cooperation between Fegasacruz and Agriterra was to launch the “Bolivia Natural Beef” trademark onto the European market.
Fegasacruz, the Federation of Stockbreeders of Santa Cruz, represents the livestock sector in that area of Bolivia. It was founded in 1975 and aims to defend the interests of its members, and to contribute to food security in Bolivia, while promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. At present, it comprises 32 local associations and 6 partner associations.
The Executive Board of Fegasacruz decided to present the Extraordinary Livestock Merit Award to Agriterra’s Director, Kees Blokland, in view of the organisation’s contribution to the development of the livestock sector in Bolivia. For the past 15 years, the federation has given awards to high-ranking state officials, international chiefs of mission, the presidents of national and international trade associations, and departmental authorities who have distinguished themselves through their altruism and their contribution to the livestock sector in Santa Cruz.
“It was a unanimous decision, and it is with great pleasure that we present this award to Agriterra. Although this award has been in existence for 15 years, the international category often remains unawarded as there are very few institutions that actually carry out any concrete activity that benefits the stockbreeders of Santa Cruz. The most important advisory service that Agriterra provided was to develop Fegasacruz’s Five-Year Strategic Plan
2019-2023, which clearly defines the federation’s focus in terms of strengthening the sector, launching the Bolivia Natural Beef export trademark, and defining policies for generational transition. One weakness within our livestock sector is the lack of young leaders who will be able to run the sector in the future. Thanks to Agriterra’s expertise, we have worked on promoting youth leadership and the inclusion of women, which has helped us to prepare a group of leaders who will be able to run the federation for many years to come,” Javier Landivar, General Manager of Fegasacruz, commented.
The cooperation between Agriterra and Fegasacruz started in 2017 when an organisational analysis was made and a working plan developed that aimed at strengthening the federation’s lobbying and efforts to raise awareness. One of its components was a training course for management and board members about FACT (Farmers Advocacy Consultation Tool), which unleashed a new way to lobby decision-makers and provided a stimulus to start exporting Bolivian meat. A participatory strategic plan was also developed in line with the new challenges faced by livestock production. Advice was also given to create the Bolivian Meat Institute, which will work at a national level, promoting meat production and positioning this product in domestic and international markets. Even though the creation of this institute enjoys the full support of the Bolivian meat value chain, it is still awaiting the government’s approval. Once it is created, this institute will promote technical research, the development of market studies, the improvement of production and quality, the assurance of certain standards, and the development of sector-wide policies and norms.
At the moment, Agriterra’s support centres on specific advisory services that are needed to guarantee the sustainability and growth of the livestock sector, such as the evaluation of vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease, bovine carcass classification, and the development of good livestock practices as part of an agreement with Wageningen University of The Netherlands. Leadership training courses and workshops have also been organised that aim to include women and young people in management positions within the federation and its member associations.
Agriterra’s Director, Kees Blokland, expressed his thanks for the recognition awarded and emphasised the fact that it would not have been possible without the trust placed in Agriterra by the producers and the work carried out by Alejandra Bazoberry and Andrés Viscarra, Agriterra’s Business advisors in Bolivia. He was unable to attend the ceremony due to the existing travel restrictions because of the current pandemic, so he was represented by Alejandra Bazoberry. In a message recorded by Kees Blokland especially for this occasion, he recognised “the important efforts that the federation is making, trying to create the Bolivian Meat Institute and promoting the export of Bolivian meat, while also keeping in mind the conservation of important natural resources and the improvement of pasture yields. Climate change is receiving a lot of attention internationally, and I am convinced that stockbreeders are not part of the problem, but they are part of the solution.” He ended by saying: “I am convinced that the efforts that the federation is making are for the good of Bolivia, the sector and the stockbreeding families. Thank you very, very much.”
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Communication and Marketing Department Bolivia