Trout exports from the Puno plateau made possible thanks to an important investment by Piscifactoría
Piscifactoría Los Andes (PISCIS), one of the PRA’s traditional clients, has an experience of more than 30 years and has become Peru’s main trout exporting company. The PRA supported PISCIS in its efforts to produce export quality trout to meet a growing and sustained demand, and facilitated its role as a major investor in the Puno plateau.
The Economic Service Center (ESC) Cusco-Puno, financed by USAID, contributed to articulating a supplier network formed by three small enterprises and 16 trout producer associations composed by 300 families living around Lake Titicaca. As a result of the collaboration with PISCIS and ESC Cusco-Puno, producers attained a 100% improvement in productivity.
The PRA has facilitated local output organization and technological transfer to suppliers located not only in Puno but also in Oxapampa and Huancavelica. Local communities have thus become suppliers of export quality trout in association with a successful export company like PISCIS.
Piscifactoría Los Andes, an ESC Cusco-Puno client, commercializes an average of 40 tons per month (30% fresh eviscerated trout for the local market and 70% frozen trout for export). It is the first company to export trout from Puno. It articulates three small enterprises and 16 plateau communities with more than 300 families.
Interview to Efraín Choque (small producer, owner of Empresa Pesquera Los Ángeles S.C.R.L. and supplier to Piscifactoría Los Andes)
How did you start out in Puno’s trout business?
For many years I was a farmer but I couldn’t make much progress because of the rough weather. Especially the droughts and frost were a major problem. Then I decided to shift to the trout business to take advantage of the lake’s potential.
How did your business progress and how did the PRA Project help you?
At the beginning it wasn’t easy. Especially the equipment (cages and floaters) were expensive, and handling trout was tricky, but we learned through experience. The PRA Project gave us technical assistance for trout breeding and contacted us with Piscifactoría Los Andes. Now I own more than 80.000 export quality trout and I use my own floating cages. I’m proud because the trout I produce reaches foreign markets like the U.S., Canada, Norway, etc.
How much do you sell to Piscifactoría Los Andes?
In 2005 I sold 50 tons of trout to Piscifactoría Los Andes, all for export, with a value around S/.440.000. I needed to make all kinds of improvements: feeding, cleaning, etc. The location is suitable to produce what the market demands. Especially, the water’s clean. Next year I expect to duplicate sales to more than 80 to 100 tons of trout.