MILAGROS -- THE LITTLE MIRACLEBioTropic has been supporting the Milagros co-operative in Mao in the Dominican Republic since 2007. Its 12 members are small banana growers from the vicinity of the town of Mao. In the course of a PPP scheme irrigation systems were set up, a sluice designed to protect the farmed area from high water was constructed and additional cable railways were constructed to transport the bananas; all these measures were financed by public sector funds provided by the DEG Bank together with funds made available by BioTropic. In addition to this, all the members of Milagros were given further training in organic farming. The country is the largest producer of organic bananas in the world. In comparison with other agricultural countries, the plantation agriculture in the Dominican Republic is heavily dominated by small farmers.
BioTropic has been working together with the co-operative right from the very start, because long-term supplier relationships are essential for high-quality organic bananas. Buying the entire banana output provides the members with security into the future.
At the same time the planation employees benefit from permanent employment yielding a regular income. Additional benefits such as the provision of food and drink at Fincas, as well as the things their children need at school, make their day-to-day life easier for them.
Together with his colleague Aquilino Cruz, the BioTropic agricultural engineer on site, Volker Schmidt, knows the problems the farmers experience with growing their crops -- they designed their bespoke solutions to cater for their specific set of circumstances.
Milagros has also been growing Demeter quality bananas since 2010 -- the area under cultivation has grown continuously since then. In terms of ecology and ethics, a further step forwards was made with the cultivation of bananas at the end of 2013, as they are now being grown to FairTSA-Standards (www.fairtsa.org) and are grown at the Milagros-Finca Villa Lobo. The Fairtrade premium is applied to the village community of Villa Lobo: a water pipe is to be connected to the village, and latrines plus a soakaway are to be built as well. A day nursery and workshop are to be opened to look after, and provide the workers' children with prevocational training.
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Our Milagros-Bananas are available in:
»13kg and 18kg boxes
»loose or in cluster bags
»organic and demeter-FTSA certified