17 April 2020, El alto de La Paz, Bolivia - Varieties of lettuce, tomato and other vegetables are grown by Simon Laura, with the technical advice of FAO. In times of Covid-19 Bolivian urban farmers have rethought their ways of working. Simon Laura, a farmer on the outskirts of El Alto, has been producing vegetables for 10 years with the support of his wife and daughter. Every week, he and his family used to take their fresh produce to different markets in the city, selling it to the many shoppers who came for their supply of fruits and vegetables. On 22 March, the Bolivian Government implemented a quarantine on the whole of the country's population in response to COVID-19. One allowance, however, is that food producers can continue to work until noon to safeguard the food supply. With the local government and the support of FAO, Simon and more than 250 other family farmers on the perimeter of Bolivia's major cities are now making home deliveries to supply urban families with fresh food produced in orchards and greenhouses. FAO's programmes in Bolivia have historically provided farming families with technical assistance, training to improve production through good agricultural practices and proper handling and manufacturing methods. The Organization also helps farmers manage their production costs, giving advice on adequate price setting, negotiation techniques and the development of new markets.
During this time of COVID-19, FAO is also training food producers to take security measures and working to facilitate their movement, coordinating with the Ministry of Productive Development and Plural Economy.