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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.

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Bill McKibben, 350.org


"It's pretty clear that the agro-industrial complex is just as vulnerable and brittle as the too-big-to-fail banks. So figuring out what comes next--how to grow the food the world needs to eat  in a way that actually can last far into the future--is an essential task. SHI is on the front lines, and in the places that really matter."

~ Bill McKibben, Author, Educator, Environmentalist, and Founder of 350.org