Project Update: Patacancha Trout Farm, January 2013

January 2013 – Read More



Nutritional and Educational Improvement in Patacancha
Primary School 50618 – Trout Farm
Project Purpose:
The trout farm project in Patacancha aims to improve the academic potential and performance of the
134 primary school students through the eradication of chronic malnutrition among the student
population. In order to do so, the project has implemented a trout farm within school grounds which
provides a trout-based school lunch two to three times per week, with starch-based dishes served on
non-trout days.
First Year Achievements:
1. The successful implementation of the trout farm.
a. By hiring and training local administrators in near-by privately owned trout farms, we
succeeded in implementing a fully functioning and locally run trout farm, with a
population high of slightly over 14,000 trout.
b. Through a contract between the Alma Foundation and the District Municipality of
Ollantaytambo, the trout farm was refurnished and new sediment removal pool and
security wall were constructed.
2. The successful implementation of a school lunch program based on trout dishes.
a. Through coordination with the school’s director, teachers, and students’ mothers, we
organized daily school lunches cooked by the mothers on a volunteer rotational basis.
Trout was served two to three times per week, providing a large increase in the protein
intake of the 134 primary school students and about 15 nursery school students.
3. Decreased incidence of malnutrition in the student population.
a. Of the 134 primary school students, 24% fully or partially recovered from malnutrition.
b. Of the 134 primary school students, 84% improved or did not worsen their incidence of
c. Unfortunately, no data is available for the nursery school students, as they were not
originally included in the project. Their inclusion came after a Parents’ Association vote.
4. Increased student attendance in school.
a. According to teacher statements, student attendance increased due to the school
lunches because parents’ saw added value in sending their children to school.
5. Increased student participation in the classroom.
a. According to teacher statements, student participation increased due to their increased
energy levels and decreased hunger since the implementation of school lunches.
Students now rarely fall asleep in class.
6. Foundations placed for school/parent-run micro-business.

a. Under control of the administrator and the Alma Foundation, the first steps towards
creating a cooperative trout farm creating income for the school and students were
b. As of this writing, the Parents’ Association, under supervision of the Alma Foundation,
has made 2,715.00 Peruvian nuevos soles worth of net gain on trout sales – all of which
has been directly reinvested in the trout farm for the purchase of new trout, the
purchase of emergency trout food, and administrator pay.
7. Increased student academic performance (?).
a. The evaluation of student academic performance and its relationship with increased
student nutritional levels is still underway. Student grades for the 2012 academic year
will not be available until early January 2013. The 2012 grades will be compared with
the same students’ grades from 2011, before the lunch program began.

Country Walkers’ Contribution:
Country Walkers contributed US$ 1,348.00, or S/. 3,545.30 (7% of total 2012 budget), to the project. Of
this total:
 84% paid the administrator salary (S/. 2,998.00)
 11% paid for additional trout food (S/. 377.30)
 5% paid for administrator training (S/. 170.00)

Goals for 2013:
Project Year 1 (2012), was focused on the implementation of the foundation activities of the project:
trout farm management, school lunch provision, and income generation. In addition, 2012 was used as a
“pilot project” year to verify if the project would produce the positive results expected (decreased
incidence of malnutrition, improvement in academic performance) and if the community/school were
viable partners for a long-term and sustainable project (parent/teacher participation, trustworthiness,

In contrast, 2013 will be much more heavily focused on the transition from subsidized to sustainable
activities and project management. Therefore, we look to replace the largest reoccurring costs, such as
trout food and baby trout purchases, with sustainable activities. We will use 2013’s budget to buy equipment (mill, pellet machine) to create our own trout food based on local inputs and to lay and hatch
our own trout eggs (incubator). In addition, we look to invest more in administer training and micro-business management in order to ensure the long-term health, profitability, and local control of the
trout farm.