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Friday, 16 December 2011

Panama Program Update - Fall 2011

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Though climate conditions have hampered yields during the past fiscal year, farmers continued to market their crops within their communities and to SHI-Panama partner Culantro Rojo. Nearly $5,000 in produce was sent to Culantro Rojo, providing families in Panama City with healthy and sustainable food choices, and providing SHI participants in rural communities such as San Pedro and Tranquilla with access to markets and income.

In April, SHI-Panama field trainers and farmers participated in a workshop on biointensive agriculture, composting and seed saving.Following the workshop, staff and participants replicated what they learned, and now 50% of SHI-Panama farmers are adopting the biointensive methodology.

During the last quarter of the fiscal year, SHI-Panama: 
• planted 1,600 trees and reforested 2 acres
• installed 18 DAMAK wood-conserving stoves
• trained an additional 25 farming families in biointensive agriculture
• opened a new rural bank in El Entradero.

At the conclusion of the fiscal year, participants had paid back more than $2,000 in micro-loans, increased income by 26% and trained 551 friends and neighbors in the techniques they learned working with SHI.


"I just returned from a 10-day trip to Honduras with Sustainable Harvest International. That small organization with a relatively small staff ... is doing a fantastic job helping the rural areas of Honduras diversify crops and re-forest the denuded mountains of the country. [They] demonstrated a dedication and grasp of both the problems and possible solutions that I found worthy of Nobel prize recognition. The leadership of our Smaller World Tour by an employee of SHI was first-rate. We worked, we learned, we contributed. If there is truly a way to help the impoverished developing world, SHI holds the key."

~ Margaret, Smaller World participant & SHI Supporter