Ecuador: Asociación Rio 7


Shoana Humphries and Alvaro Cabrera


Plantation workers become owners of a bamboo enterprise

Asociación Rio 7 in southern Ecuador recently took over a bamboo enterprise owned and managed for the last decade by an armed forces company. Over the next 10 years, the association must pay the government for the value of the land and the company for the value of the physical assets, including 205 hectares of bamboo. While the enterprise has a great resource base and secure local markets, it still faces some serious risks. The terms of the transfer of land and physical assets are still being defined, and the association has a high dependence on an outside manager and weak organisational capacities. While the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP) offices has committed to help with technical capacity building (such as business administration and loan management), the association knows it must also work with its partners to strengthen its organisational and business capacities.