Pisciculture as a life option
October 16 2013. Caridad, Luis and their two children are a displaced family from the department of Caqueta, who arrived to the rural area of San Jose del Guaviare pursuing tranquility and with the firm decision of not cultivating coca leave anymore. Around a tray of fried Cachama fish caught from their pisciculture project pond, this couple shared their experience of being part of an alternative development project, implemented in San Jose del Guaviare by the Administrative Unit for the Territorial Consolidation -UACT- and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime -UNODC-.
This couple, who spends all its time on the land, in only two hectares they have two ponds for breeding Cachama fish, they plant yucca root, they rear pigs, ducks and chicken, and, as Caridad says "we sell everything our farm provide us with". As it has been a whole life change for the family, she adds "I feel so much better here… We work, we count with more support and above all, we have tranquility". She and Luis sell their products in a small grocery store called La Paz located near their place.
The families, who are part of the Forest Wardens initiative as well as of other alternative development programs, receive economic incentives, technical support and training, which allow them to strengthen their productive lines, to practice a responsible management of the environment and, finally, to develop skills for improving their life conditions; Caridad comments that it has been possible to invest in their house, the ponds and in a water pump thanks to this assistance; in Luis' words, nowadays farmers want to work the legal way, "now that we have an income from our business, we can verify who we sell our products to".