BioTropic launches social project in Costa Rica
Our latest development aid project is currently under way in Costa Rica. Around 75 small-scale farmers from Alajuela Province in the north of the country will be learning how organic farming works. The aim is to help them achieve success on the international market with organic products. Humans and nature should benefit equally from the project.
"We hope to qualify these small-scale farmers so that they can produce exportable organic products sustainably and in sufficient quantities", says Sascha Suler, operations manager of BioTropic in Duisburg. To date, there are only a few farmers in Costa Rica who operate according to organic guidelines. Giant monopoly plantations with conventionally grown bananas and pineapples dominate most of the cultivatable land. They mostly belong to large international fruit conglomerates. Small-scale farmers are shut out and have almost no chance to gain a foothold on the international market.
Knowledge is the key
"With our project, we want to contribute to enabling local small-scale farmers to cultivate organic crops in an environmentally friendly manner and to be able to live on their earnings", says BioTropic managing director Andree Mols. To do so, imparting knowledge is the key. Hence, in collaboration with the University of Costa Rica, the BioTropic farmers are currently being trained on a wide range of agricultural topics — such as proper fertilisation in organic farming.
In the second phase of the project, which is to be launched in mid-2019, we intend to invest in the on-site infrastructure. Among other things, a freight station will be built for the processing and further transportation of the goods. The small-scale farmers will primarily be cultivating organic ginger, turmeric and sweet potatoes, which BioTropic will distribute for them worldwide.
The project will last for two years. It is funded by the develoPPP.de programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme supports the involvement of the private sector in areas where entrepreneurial opportunities and a need to take developmental action coincide. The Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) is providing the project funding on behalf of the BMZ. BioTropic has already realised similar projects in the Dominican Republic and the Ivory Coast.
Text: BioTropic GmbH
Images: BioTropic GmbH
Last updated: April 2019
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