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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Panama Program Update - Spring 2011

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Although it is SHI’s smallest program, the SHI-Panama team and participants continue to have a broad impact and achieve impressive goals.  Since July 2010, participants have continued their local and regional commercialization of crops, selling 28 types of fruits and vegetables (plantains, cassava, ceylon or tropical spinach and more).  This new income has far exceeded the average typical income of the families.  Nearly half of SHI-Panama’s participant families are active in small rural bank programs, and have received over $2,800 in loans, generally used for agricultural investments, home improvement, education or health care.

Families have newly cultivated nearly 20 acres with organic and sustainable techniques. They have been applying a mixture of homemade products including biofertilizer (fermented cow manure, molasses and urine), efficient microorganisms and  bocashi. The success of these products, including increased crop yields, and their recipe of local resources is another guarantee that families can be self-sufficient and save money that was previously allocated for the purchase of  agro-chemicals.


“Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is the ideal partner… It is one thing to visit the SHI website and read the various reports and informational materials, but seeing the program in action was incredible. It is obvious that SHI is making a real difference in improving the lives of these farmers and their families.”

~Diane Ragone, Ph.D., Director, The Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden