My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Centro de Capacitacion, Investigacion y Demostracion del Metodo Biointensivo de Cultivo en Nicaragua, Inc., Chatham, NY, USA
Our organization - Solar Projects For Nicaraguan Women (FUPROSOMUNIC by its acronym in Spanish) - promotes the building and use of solar ovens as a way to use less firewood and lessen smoke inhalation in rural homes. We also promote use of solar methods of water purification for families without access to potable water. In addition, FUPROSOMUNIC works in construction of solar food dryers for dehydration of food, medicinal plants and clay crafts with an end goal of family benefits that include income generation.
In 2012, I met with Michael Richardson and learned of plans to improve food security at a small-scale level through soil improvement methods that make use of the organic bio-intensive method. Since this initial meeting, I have been very interested in this work in and of itself and as a complement to FUPROSOMUNIC’s work in alternative energy. In general, my organization works in rural or semi-urban areas where people make use of small-scale agriculture.
This year (2014) when I had the opportunity to see the work being done at the Centro Biointensivo training and research center, I once again felt much more motivated to work with the BioNica-CCID. I observed over sixty plant beds with different demonstration plants as well as fruit trees that have been planted at the Centro Biointensivo demonstration site. There are also numerous other organizations now implementing the bio-intensive technique in other regions of Nicaragua.
One of the things that has most impressed me is the effectiveness of double-excavation together with application of organic fertilizer, which conserves on the water needed by plants. Results have been excellent, especially notable in soils very deficient in organic material and soil which has been compacted or eroded.
For our organization, we intend to learn more from the work that BioNica-CCID is doing and implement what we learn at our own agricultural demonstration site (The Eco-Solar Center of Nicaragua near the village of Catarina). We will also promote these techniques with our beneficiary families.
FUPROSOMUNIC has received a great deal of support from the BioNica-CCID team as well as a lot of valuable technical advice in both practice and theory of sustainable agriculture. At our own demonstration farm, we now have eleven beds planted with a mix of grains and vegetables and we’re starting to see great results. In the upcoming year, we will plan on workshops to introduce the biointensive method of planting to the women who work with us as beneficiaries and users of solar ovens.
The women of FUPROSOMUNIC are very grateful for the support that has been given to our organization and we hope many other organizations will seek support from BioNica-CCID, so that their work in biointensive agriculture can be replicated by families, and that these techniques will also be used by small and medium-scale farmers here in Nicaragua.
María Mercedes Álvarez