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You are here: Home > Projects > Bilateral Projects > South America > Paraguay


Department: Technical Cooperation
Project Name: Pacu Fingerling Breeding and Cultivation Project (Paraguay)
Project Description: Paraguay, a landlocked country in South America, has few rivers, for which reason the country lacks for industries relating to aquatic resources, with the majority of aquaculture-based produce being imported. To meet the need for fish protein among Paraguayans, since 2010 the Ministry of Agriculture has been actively seeking cooperation with Taiwan for the promotion of freshwater fisheries and breeding.
Pacu is currently the Paraguayan aquaculture industry’s second most important product (accounting for 10 percent of farmed species), but in fact is the most well-accepted fish in terms of local consumption, and enjoys a higher market price than tilapia (the most important aquaculture species) because tilapia is unsuitable for the extremely popular barbecue style of cooking prevalent in the country. Pacu, also larger in size, fatter and unique in flavor, is in practice the more popular species.
The species is native to the Paraguay River, but fishing is banned around the capital for two months per year, and for three months per year near to the Brazilian border, during which time supermarkets can only sell farmed fish, and mostly just tilapia. Only a small number of supermarkets in the capital and major cities sell pacu, and since no other species can serve as a substitute, there has been a gradual trend toward farming in recent years. Paraguay’s current annual output of pacu amounts to US$3.66 million. There is currently a market for Paraguay’s pacu farmers, but produce is still imported from Argentina or Brazil, and there is only one site in Paraguay that can breed pacu fingerlings independently, with breeding techniques still remaining mostly in the hands of Brazilian actors.
Pacu is native to Paraguay and loved by the local people, but as a result of overfishing, production has declined in recent years. Since the country does not have its own fingerling breeding technologies, fish are mostly imported or smuggled into the country. The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the National University of Asunción’s School of Veterinary Sciences has been assisting in the development of Paraguay’s pacu breeding industry having conducted breeding trials for many years, but still suffers from a large number of bottlenecks in terms of artificial fish breeding techniques.
As part of this project, the Taiwan Technical Mission will cooperate with the National University of Asunción and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to assist Paraguay in establishing pacu fingerling breeding techniques, producing 2.6 million pacu fingerlings over four years. In addition to reducing imports and the volume of pacu fingerlings smuggled into the country, this will also reduce the foreign aquatic bacteria and parasites that are putting Paraguayan resources at risk, as well as satisfy market demand even during fishing bans, increasing local earnings and consolidating the domestic consumer market and the price of the species.

Implementation Start Date: 2014/11/24
Implementation End Date: 2018/11/23
Project Objectives:
  1. Train technicians to operate fingerling production systems, including two personnel each from the National University of Asunción and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
  2. Select two sites at which to introduce fish breeding techniques, forming the main bases for the supply of pacu fry.
  3. Transfer pacu breeding techniques to private fish farms and foster private investment in the pacu breeding industry.
  4. Train aquaculture extension workers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, strengthening the implementation of guidance provided to fish farmers in terms of farming techniques.
Executing Agency:
  1. Aquaculture Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Paraguay)
  2. School of Veterinary Sciences, National University of Asunción, (Paraguay)
  3. Taiwan Technical Mission in the Republic of Paraguay
Project Performance: 1. Project outcome:
Successfully breeding and cultivating Pacu in Paraguay, producing up to 2.6 million Pacu fingerlings in four years and transferring relative techniques to local stakeholders.
2. Project outputs:
(1) Cooperated with National University of Asunción and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to provide Pacu breeding training for the specialists.
(2) Capacity building for three private fish breeding farms to transfer the techniques.
(3) A total of 142 Pacu fingerling extension workers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock have received training through 31 courses and four large-scale field demonstrations have been organized for 850 fish farmers.
Signing Date: 2014/11/24
Cooperating Stakeholders: Aquaculture Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Paraguay)
Mission: Taiwan Technical Mission in the Republic of Paraguay
Sector: Production Sectors
Sector Item: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Cooperating Country: South America, Paraguay
Project status: Completed projects
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  • Date:2015/1/14
  • Date Updated:2019/1/7