This project aims to improve the livelihoods of 178 organic banana farming families (426 total farmers) in Peru and Ecuador through building a compost producing facility in each country that will enable the members of the participating farming cooperatives to transform banana waste to organic compost, while building the skills of farmers to promote fair and healthy working conditions.
The peasant families that belong to Agro Peru Chira (Peru) and the Cendero Foundation (Ecuador), members of the International Alliance for Sustainable Family Agriculture (AIAFS), have been practicing organic agriculture for over 20 years. Up to now, they have occasionally produced compost at the individual level, but a lack of state support and economic resources has meant not all farmers could be integrated, it was not possible to improve the technical level of composting or make it permanent.
This project will trial two different solutions. At Fundacion Cendero in Ecuador they will trial collective rotation of responsibility between member families for managing their facility, while at AgroPeru they will trial hiring staff to manage their facility. Both will provide training to farmers in composting processes, while also working to improve gender equality and access to higher education for their members.
The development of the compost producing facilities will make a significant impact in alleviating poverty and improving the health of farming communities and their surrounding environment. The knowledge and skills gained from this project will be shared with over 10,000 family farmer members of the International Alliance for Small Family Farming in the Caribbean and the Philippines, who will look to replicate one or other of the two approaches trialed in this project.