Traditional and Modern Agriculture Project
by ASPRIRegion 2 · Guaynabo, PR
This project focuses on increasing the number of participants educated and trained on how to use traditional and agriculture methods and hydroponic farming. This project establishes and sustains a home or community food system that can meet participants’ nutrition and/or economic needs. The project facilitates an 8-week, 4 hour per week training program where participants learn how to cultivate produce utilizing hydroponics. Additionally, project staff follow-up with training participants after the training to assist in whatever way possible to help them practice and apply what they learned.
Local Need Addressed
The poverty rate in Puerto Rico is 43.1% which is drastically higher than the U.S. national poverty rate at 13.1%.
- Puerto Rico additionally faces over a decade-long economic recession with over a 10% loss of economic growth.
- It is estimated that Puerto Rico grows only 15% of the food that is consumed.
With individuals and families needing methods to sustain self-sufficiency, education and training resulting in certification and skills is necessary to increase access to local and nutritional produce.
- By completing the 8-week hydroponics training, participants expand their knowledge and increase their economic opportunities to cultivate and sell produce thereby increasing their household incomes.
Since 2002, approximately 2,229 participants have been enrolled in the agriculture workshops.
In this program, traditional agriculture courses are offered to young people and adults with low economic resources, giving them the opportunity to train and perform in productive activities that allow them to generate income, feel self-sufficient and in turn achieve a higher level of independence.
On January 29, 2014, the eight young participants and 1-faculty members of Nuestra Escuela, Inc. began taking a course in hydroponics at our facilities in Rio Grande, graduating on March 18, 2014.
Nuestra Escuela, Inc. is a non-profit, community-based, non-governmental organization, incorporated on August 11, 2000 under the laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for the purpose of offering educational services to youth and adults outside of the school without having completed the Fourth Year of high school.
The experience was unforgettable for all of us who worked at the Center for Traditional and Modern Agriculture of Rio Grande. The integration of the youth of Nuestra Escuela Inc. was very successful. The students showed great interest in hydroponic farming and made the most of the workshops.
Currently in their Loiza facilities, they have planted a diversity of agricultural products despite space limitations and hydroponic systems.
We hope in the near future to have more groups of students from Nuestra Escuela Inc.
The initiative does not discriminate against potential participants by race or ethnicity. All are recruited and welcomed. All participants are welcome to participate in the program as long as income eligibility is met.
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