Women in Aquaculture: Patricia Barrera
Patricia Barrera swapped a career in pharmaceuticals to follow her passion for aquaculture, establishing Trout Managers SAS in Colombia, which she now runs.
Briefly describe your aquaculture career
I consider myself an entrepreneur. I worked mostly in the pharmaceutical field but my husband suggested that I invest my time and effort in something that was just mine, where I could be my own boss in the years to come. Serendipitously, I found a passion in trout farming.
Patricia’s dream is to become a leader in Colombia’s aquaculture and help other women who are keen to start a career in aquaculture.
I find the world of aquaculture fascinating, and why not? It’s a great industry. We started our company by learning from and accompanying neighbouring farmers. I was tasked with the challenge of creating a company that, one day, would be self-sustained. I have been working passionately for the past two years, and not a day goes by when I don’t learn something that I can use to improve and develop our small company. In a few months from now, we will be producing 3.5 tonnes of trout a month. For now, our farm has three recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) with nine water tanks and six contain fish.
I am actually a registered nurse and certified as a personal and business coach, but now I’m doing something I never thought I would be doing. It’s challenging, crazy and daring! My husband and I found that the crystalline waters originating in our area were perfect for cultivating trout, a fish that is traditionally grown and eaten in our region, and things went from there.
What inspired you to start in aquaculture?
Once I decided to grow trout, I did some further research, which enlightened me to the opportunities that the aquaculture industry has. Colombia has all the geographical conditions and water resources needed to develop this business. The government of Colombia is also supporting the aquaculture sector with credit facilities and some tax benefits. Our house is not far from Bogotá, where people traditionally farm trout. This has inspired me to see other kinds of production and I’ve got to know this wonderful world through the curiosity it generates in me. I also have a certification in Fundamentals in Bio-integrated Recirculation Systems from the Nueva Granada Military University.
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