Initiative seeks to benefit dozens of farmers in the cacao sector.
SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica, June 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EARTH University is excited to have launched a new project that will integrate and advance regenerative organic practices on small cacao farms in Costa Rica. The project is being implemented by EARTH and financed by Patagonia, a U.S. company that supports environmental organizations with bold, direct-action agendas aimed at building an equitable, inclusive and diverse environmental movement.
By executing the regenerative principles on one of EARTH’s model farms at the Guácimo campus and implementing a participatory and holistic training model, the initiative seeks to strengthen the knowledge of 50 cacao-producing families in the province of Limón. The training program will address topics such as soil health and land management, animal welfare, and farmer and worker fairness while promoting the use of good agricultural practices for organic crop production and soil regeneration.
The initiative will be implemented in three phases: (1) strengthening regenerative practices at EARTH’s Integrated Organic Farm and creating and adapting training tools; (2) with the support of EARTH Futures, EARTH University’s global center for solutions that promotes the positive transformation and empowerment of communities, identifying and selecting farmers to participate in the training program and; (3) executing participatory workshops with the farmers, under the supervision and experience of the academic program.
“We are delighted to support EARTH University’s important work of bringing regenerative organic practices to these small cacao farms in Costa Rica. This effort is a model for farmers who see the need to move away from chemicals and thereby are respecting the natural ecosystem which will improve the health of their own farms and communities,” said Birgit Cameron, Head of Patagonia Provisions.
EARTH’s experience with cacao producers is extensive:
The Plataforma Cacao Caribe (Caribbean Cacao Platform) was created in 2017, consisting of 300 members (60% of the cacao sector) who seek to accelerate the transition towards a green economy, promote sustainability throughout the cacao’s supply chain, and drive efficiency in crop production.
In 2018, EARTH participated with the Platform to create the 2018-2028 National Cacao Plan, led by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Currently, EARTH is working in partnership with the USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID/ASHA) to construct a cacao processing laboratory that will promote best practices in entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability.
The Caribbean is the region of the country with the highest concentration of cacao crops. For this reason, cacao producers and their families play an important role not only in production, but also as actors promoting environmental protection and soil regeneration.
Thanks to the support of Patagonia, the practice of regenerative organic agriculture will contribute to strengthening and recovering the soil on cacao farms, addressing the impact caused by the use of chemical products on the soil and supporting climate change mitigation.
“We are thrilled to implement this project with the support of Patagonia. EARTH’s strengths will be leveraged for the benefit of small farmers of the Huetar Caribe region. With this initiative, we will work collaboratively with the farmers so they can learn, improve their production and leverage agricultural inputs using regenerative principles,” said Mauricio Segura, Project Director.
For the past thirty years, EARTH has been a leader in sustainable agriculture and practices for environmental protection, basing all its efforts on the fundamental values that constitute the foundation of the institution: ethical behavior, sustainable development, the search for knowledge, social consciousness, and academic excellence.
EARTH is a private, international, non-profit university, dedicated to holistic education degree of Engineering in Agricultural Sciences. The University prepares leaders with ethical values who will contribute to sustainable development and to construct a more just and prosperous society. Most of their students come from rural areas, essential places for the future of mankind.
For almost 40 years, Patagonia has supported groups working to find solutions to the environmental crisis. Patagonia supports environmental organizations with bold, direct-action agendas, and a commitment to long-term change. The company supports innovative work that addresses the root causes of the environmental crisis and seeks to protect both the environment and affected communities.
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