Thursday, September 17, 2015

17/09/2015: Award for Columbian champion
Aquaculture without Frontiers has awarded Woman of the Month for September to Columbian Ruth Uribe Quintero. 

Ruth's story in aquaculture began in 2007. Through her passion, training and hard work Ruth became the president of AMENM (Asociación de Mujeres Esperanza Nueva La Murraposa, or La Murraposa New Hope Women's Association).

AMENM began as an initiative of 60 rural women in the city of Ibagué, Tolima, Colombia, aimed at improving the quality of life of the members and their families by generating revenue through the implementation of aquaculture projects.  This Association promotes value added tilapia aquaculture in the rural Tolima Region of Colombia, and is a platform for other aquaculture family farm producers (with limited resources) to increase farming capacity and process, income and nutrition. This is a women-only project with fishponds and one building for processing.  They created a collective and include other producers in the Tolipez region.
Ruth promotes the inclusion of women in the aquaculture production chain, alleviating poverty and malnutrition, advancing food security for disadvantaged people, transferring knowledge and technology, and increasing capabilities and capacities of the communities.  In 2010, Ruth and the Association took first place in the Laboratories Microenterprise award in the category of ‘Creativity and Innovation’, awarded by the Mayor of Ibague, for their business idea and proposal of the use of fish skins in developing different types of clothing.

Ruth understood that for personal and community development continuous learning is required. She became a role model for women of the region, which has been recognized by government agencies such as the Mayor of Ibague. Her contribution as leader of the rural sector was praised in October 2014 honouring her level of commitment to rural communities.

In 2011 the City Council of Ibague applauded the work of the women who support the construction of the Ibaguereña Society for social, cultural, artistic, educational, economic and business development. Ruth’s work was extolled as an outstanding example worthy of replication for present and future generations.

Strengthening the aquaculture chain by generating added value has been the banner of Ruth’s work in the agricultural sector.  It has allowed her to represent producers and be invited by institutions such as the Network of Aquaculture Americas, Sebrae, FAO, among others, to different countries including Brazil, Peru and Chile.  She had two successful experiences in Colombia of the demonstration units strengthened by the FAO in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Teresa Santofimio Males, Executive Director of Tolima Productivity Centre, an institution that has pioneered the development of aquaculture in the Department for over ten years, recognized Ruth as an "enterprising woman and community leader, who not only struggles for her communities but for her region, and therefore creates synergy in the her projects. She is a valuable human being, who transmits joy and optimism, despite the vicissitudes of life”.

Ruth exemplifies the enterprising, active woman with social sense, seeking growth for her communities, in a joint effort backed by her leadership and drive; as such, AwF is pleased to honour her as Woman of the Month for September.

Visit the Aquaculture without Frontiers site HERE.

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