Traditionally, the peoples of the Chaco were hunters and berry gatherers. They related to nature by principles of harmony and sustainability. Their economic subsistence was based on the variety of produce found in nature and in the custom of sharing everything with the family clan.
These principles still reign in the economic life of the indigenous villages. Today, they seek to supplement theirdietary income through various modern options: the family garden, a field of produce for profit, cattle and other stock breeding, changas in neighboring settlements, working as contract workers for other ranches and villages, working in construction and in the service industry. The cultural continuity is maintained as the income from all of these sources is shared for the common good, but especially with family and relatives.
It is in this context that the Agricultural department seeks to accompany the indigenous settlers in their search for optional income sources, as well as in their training and growth of skills.
The Agricultural department of ASCIM works out of their SEAP office (Servicio de Extension Agropecuario) in Yalve Sanga; and they include 17 villages in the Central Chaco in this mentoring program. This department is divided into 3 main areas of mentoring: agriculture, cattle raising and accounting.
The production program has these strategies:
a) To accompany and mentor the participants at their job
b) To organize and sponsor specific workshops and forums of interaction
c) To organize and sponsor planning and evaluation meetings