Agroecology contributes to conservation on San Cristóbal Island

June 14, 2021 3:33 PM

Greenhouses also protect farmers from the sun or rain. Photo: Courtesy Heifer Ecuador

Farmers from the Galapagos Islands received technical assistance and an endowment of resources to move towards agroecological production. This is an initiative of Fundación Heifer Ecuador in alliance with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) .

Agroecology is ideal to maintain the conservation of this Natural Heritage of Humanity site, since [agroecology] is based on sustainable agricultural systems that optimize and stabilize production. For example, pest and disease control is carried out using alternative methods, which helps to maintain the health of farmers and the balance of ecosystems .

97% of the territory of the Galapagos Islands is a natural park and no human activity is allowed other than what is designated for tourist activity. The remaining 3% [of the territory], distributed in the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floreana and San Cristóbal, allows for agricultural and livestock activities.

There are 546 production units in San Cristóbal, totaling 8,023 hectares and belonging to 413 producers. One of these producers is Zobeida Olaya, a Galapagueña and a lifelong farmer, as were her parents and grandparents.

Olaya is one of the 10 people who received a 154-square-meter greenhouse, with an irrigation system and provision of seeds. The donation is part of the Future of Food project, led by the Heifer Ecuador Foundation in San Cristóbal.

Greenhouses are continuous production systems that allow constant production throughout the year. In addition, they make it possible to produce in better conditions and contribute to the supply of the Galapagos food system . These infrastructures, being controlled spaces, make it possible to dispense with the use of chemicals for pest control.

The 71-year-old farmer grew tomatoes, cucumbers and coriander. After three months of implementing the greenhouse, she harvested her first products and took them to the Consumamos lo Nuestro Fair, of which she is a member.

At this fair, 32 producers market their agricultural products directly to the consumer. This space has been strengthened as part of the strategy for the production and commercialization of fresh and agroecological food in Galapagos.

Fundación Heifer Ecuador, in addition, is working on the structuring of San Cristóbal’s businesses through the Rural Business School, which allows entrepreneurs to have a more orderly management of finances, where they can learn marketing and management strategies in order to they get better results from their business.

Read the original coverage from El Comercio at https://www.elcomercio.com/tendencias/ambiente/agroecologia-conservacion-isla-san-cristobal.html


Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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