Many of Panama’s agriculture issues stem from water pollution and poor farming techniques. Water pollution occurs due to runoff and the deforestation of the tropical rainforest. Further, current farming techniques threaten the soil siltation and degradation of the land. In light of these issues, several organizations have taken action to train farmers to practice sustainable agriculture in Panama.
ECOFARMS, a grassroots foundation, is taking the initiative to protect and restore the rainforest around the Mamoni River Valley. The main goal of ECOFARMS is to restore the area that past farming techniques have devastated. It also promotes restoring the landscape to closely resemble that of the original. By working with the local community ECOFARMS promotes reliable and sustainable agricultural skills. It also strives to incorporate organic material in farming practices, rather than harmful chemical additives.
Planting Empowerment Promotes Sustainable Agriculture in Panama
Planting Empowerment, established in 2006, also aims to rebuild the tropical forests. This organization volunteers to turn plots of deforested land back into tropical ecosystems to maintain sustainable agriculture in Panama. Ultimately, this initiative increases air quality and allows the local communities to profit from the land for future generations, thereby becoming more self-sufficient.
Women Farmers Alliance
USAID sponsored a training program for thirty participants from local Panama communities to learn and adopt sustainable farming practices. This program showed skills and techniques not known to the community, such as crop rotation and how to utilize organic fertilizer and pest controls.
The program focused on training women to promote farming as a gender equal working opportunity. Women then went back to communities and joined alliances to further teach the sustainable farming techniques.
Sustainable Harvest International
Sustainable Harvest International partnered with local farmers to develop a plan to gain access to water in times of drought and dry seasons. The plan was to develop a protected watershed preserve from farmers’ land that supplies sustainable water source throughout the year. Families worked together on this water initiative in order to empower the community and gain knowledge on ways to benefit the ecosystem.
These initiatives, among other efforts from international organizations, have become a collaborative goal that has allowed the communities in Panama to grow and farm sustainably.
– Bronti DeRoche