Rural Resiliance

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Rural Resiliance

Hualqui, ChileHualqui, Chile
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Small farmers in rural chile produce a lot of food but lack access to markets. Additionally, new agriculture practices are increasing the cost of production. We aim to create a local market to support producers & share sustainable agriculture skills to ensure rural resilience and strong community

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

the supermarket is stocked with local produce and investing in its community
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

smaller farmers in Chile are skilled producers but lack access to markets where they can sell what they produce. Additionally, modern agriculture practices are increasing debt and decreasing productivity. Traditional agriculture practices are disappearing and farmers are leaving the land, causing the loss of jobs and the proud rural traditions of Chile. Money is not longer circulating in the community and healthy food is harder to access

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A local market will open the possibility for local producers to sell the food that they produce at a guaranteed fair price. The market will act as both an agent to buy and sell local produce and also as a community hub to facilitate meetings and workshops. These will aim to increase the resilience of local agriculture through sustainable practices such as composting, seed saving, vermiculture, pastured poultry and time-controlled grazing. Through a community supported agriculture scheme, locals will be able to support local producers and keep money within the community to support its development. A focus on the proud traditions of agriculture in the area will ensure that visiting tourists can also support local producers.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Juan was a local producer of pork and potatoes, but he was unable to sell his food in town as the supermarket sold cheaper imported potatoes. The closest weekly market was 100km away and he was unable to travel to the market to sell his food. Since the Rural Resilience Market started in Hualqui he has been able to sell his produce and connect with locals keen to support local agriculture. At the community center he has gained access to local varieties of vegetables & learned through workshops how to create healthy soils and capture nutrients so he can continue to produce year after year. This change had encouraged his son to stay on the farm and help manage it, rather than move to the city. Now, in addition to food, he is growing community

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Last year we visited Hualqui and investigated the possibility of starting this project. Through community forums and local discussion the need for a place to sell local produce and teach innovative farming techniques was identified. Following this a series of workshops was offered that aimed to teach these skills, which were well received by the community. Given this, we hope that by being able to found a local market and community center, local producers will feel more empowered and community members can more easily support local agriculture. The FAO has identified the need for farmers to increase production in the coming years and diverse small scale farms are being billed as the answer. We will ensure these farms can thrive in Hualqui and sustain the traditions of production in the area. Citizens can buy from the farmers in area. With healthy, local food comes a healthy local economy.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Once the center is set up for buying and selling produce, as well as running workshops, the organization will be financially sustainable. Capital to buy produce will come from the community, which will go to supporting local farmers and maintaining the shopfront. Buy in will occur from allied community groups that can join as members to support the operation. Tourism will also be targeted as visitors will want to taste the delicious local food.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The CET institute 1.5hrs from Hualqui teaches sustainable agriculture. While achieving some great results, farmers are unreceptive to attending classes far from home and lead by "experts". We will ensure that workshops are available in town and in a way that draws on the skills and local knowledge of the community of farmers in the area. Manos de Biobio has successfully used a similar community based model to support local artists but this effort has not supported farmers or food producers in the area. We will support and enhance these efforts by bringing the market & classes to the community
Team

Founding Story

While talking to farmers in Hualqui in 2012 we realised that many were considering giving up farming as there were too many barriers to producing food and it was impossible to compete with the cheaper supermarket prices. When we discussed this with community members they lamented the difficulty in connecting with farmers to buy their produce. While visiting an artist collective store in town we realized that the same model could be used to sustain local farmers and keep capital within the community. Further, we saw many farmers adopting unsustainable, high-input intensive agriculture. A successful local permaculture institute inspired us to apply these principles in the community to improve the local economy and environment.