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An Economic Assessment of Fisheries Development in Colombia


Street, Donald

Date: 1978

Funding Agency: USAID

Keywords: colombia, fisheries, aquaculture, economic, development, international

Category: International Country Report

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The Auburn University-USAID-
INDERENA Fisheries Project

Has made
significant progress lo date and will vitally affect

future opportunities
of the populace through improved information.

The Rcpelon and
Gigante projects have begun to accomplish

parts of the work envisioned
for them despite delays

in construction and
procurement of certain equipment and

vehicles. Surveys
in the Lower Magdalena and in the Llanos,

which are bringing
in much needed data on biological-productivity

phases of the fisheries, also are useful in

the socio-economic
phases of the study.

There has been a
scarcity of serious economic studies in

Colombia in the
past, with economic content being given consideration

largely as an after
thought. Thus, the present study

of consumer patterns in five cities, which seems to have a valuable

content, will be
welcomed by scientists interested in

building on the
data for future plans. The fishery bibliography

in preparation at the
Ministry of Agriculture should be a

tremendous help to
persons needing orientation on previous

work. The
recently-hired INDERENA economist will fill a

vacancy from a previous
resignation and should be able to

aid in bringing
economic information to potential users.

The training
element in the fisheries project is designed to

get the most out of
the economy’s most valuable resource, its

people. The nine
persons presently in the program and the

two in language
training will add greatly to the human capital

growth of the country.
Several more plan to enter advanced

degree programs

Construction delays
(for whatever reasons ) are costly in

view of the high inflation
rates in Colombia at present. A

fixed sum of money appropriated
deteriorates rapidly in terms

of buying power for
buildings and equipment.

Other development
agencies, such as CIDA, the Chinese

delegation from Taiwan,
FAO, and similar agencies. complement

the Auburn-USAID
work in favor of a balanced effort

to develop the countries
natural resources. Mutual information

exchanges of these groups
will make improved results

available to all parties

Specific recommendations
for the project are given as follows:

l. Another full
time economist should be hired by INDERENA.

He should have at
least a Masters degree with

special training in
econometrics. This economist would he

used in upgrading demand
studies and would aid in opportunity cost and resource allocation problems
as well as in

macroeconomic matters.

2. Market monitoring
should be started immediately in the

Gigante area to make
better plans on pricing, shipping products,

and preparing for
contingencies. This plan should be carried

out according to the
details in the Appendix and by the

survey questionnaire
developed for use by the INDERENA

economist. A simpler
market monitoring plan is recommended

for the Repelon
area of influence only to trace price patterns

for competitive
fish to aquaculture production and to examine

prices of the aquacultural
fish. These data can be used to

plan shipping
patterns of aquacultural fish.

3. The pricing structure
of river fish between the first buyers

and retail levels
needs to be studied to learn at what levels

aquacultural fish
can most economically break into the market

and to determine costs
of marketing and transportation between

important marketing

4. An in-city survey
of ornamental fish needs to be set up

to complement data
which are presently being collected on

the rivers at first-buyer
collection points. This phase of the

work would be
carried out by the INDERENA economist.

5. Market
monitoring similar to the program recommended

for Gigante should
be extended as suggested by the officials

at The Ministry of
Agriculture to the extent of personnel available.

The hiring of an
additional economist would aid in

attaining  this goal.

G. Plans should be
made for extension personnel to carry

research findings directly
to potential fish farmers in Colombia.

The proper
allocation of the country’s resources cannot

be made without adequate information to
the public.

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