The government of Peru has published a manual that promotes co-operatives as a suitable enterprise model for small-scale fishermen.
The document, developed by the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE), provides guidance for fishermen to set up co-operatives in order to gain better access to the market.
César Quispe, general director of fish extraction and production for human consumption at PRODUCE said: “With this manual the small scale fishermen will learn that through a fish producer co-operative they will gain more power both as buyers and sellers. Through the co-operative they can to get better deals on the products they sell and buy, given that the transactions would be made in a larger volume.
“We are encouraging the strengthening of producer organisations in the fisheries sector so that they can take better advantage of the existing legal framework and benefit from better market conditions,” he said, adding that the main aim of the manual was to help fishermen and their families improve their lives.
Mr Quispe argued that the creation of more co-operatives could also help develop an economy of scale, as was the case with small scale agricultural producers and fishermen in other countries that organised themselves in co-operatives.
By forming co-operatives fishermen could buy products at better prices, reduce costs and improve their marketing strategy. Another advantage would be the ability to raise capital by saving together and investing in the co-operative, he added.
As well as describing the benefits, the manual also includes step-by-step guidance on how to set up a co-operative including chapters that look at basic aspects of co-operatives, the reliability of co-operatives, and tax and labour duties.