lantain and banana plantations as a local and economical alternative to contribute to food security and food sovereignty in santa julia
Implementing partner: Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Cooperative, in Santa Julia, El Crucero, Managua.
Objective: Contribute to sustainability in Santa Julia community through food production for self-consumption and commercialization.
Beneficiaries: 8 families from the cooperative and 40 children receiving a free lunch once a week.
- Establish 8 plantains and bananas plantations in the community of Santa Julia, El Crucero.
- Install 2 watering systems in the homes of members of the cooperative who live in most isolated areas of the community.
- Promote community engagement with community members from Santa Julia, especially men.
- Support the children’s eatery "Cherished Children", led by the Gloria Quintanilla Cooperative.
Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Cooperative
The Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Cooperative was founded over nine years ago and was officially registered as a cooperative in 2010. Currently comprised of 16 women, the cooperative arose out of the social needs of the community with the goal of implementing development projects that help to improve the quality of life in the community in the areas of health, education and job security.
Leadership in the cooperative is characterized by strong organization, social justice and the promotion of sustainable environmental practices. The cooperative is also actively involved in the promotion of food sovereignty and are members of UNAPA, ATC and the international "La Via Campesina" movement that is dedicated to promoting family-based sustainable agriculture.
Establishment of small plantain and banana plantations in Santa Julia community as a local and economical alternative to contribute to food security and food sovereignty.
The project will build 8 community plantations for the production of plantains and bananas, in order to provide basic food to the community members of Santa Julia, who have experienced food shortages and poor agricultural production in the last years. The establishment of these plantations is aimed at providing food security and sovereignty for the community, and to create new sources of income for the members of the cooperative.
Plantations will be established in the homes of eight women, members of the Gloria Quintanilla Cooperative. Each member will receive 157 plantain plants and 158 bananas plants. Plantains produce 3-4 harvests a year, and bananas produce 2 harvests. Plantains and all their varieties are a good alternative crop in dry areas as they require less water compared to other plants.
The production in the plantations will be divided amongst the families of the community, and the local children’s eatery "Cherished Children", located in the center of the community. The community eatery will receive 40% of the total produce to contribute to providing a weekly free lunch for the children of the community, many of whom are suffering from malnutrition. The 20% will be for the families’ self-consumption and 35% to sell in local vegetable markets. The estimation of crop losses is 5%.
The women of the cooperative have received training on how to make plantain vinegar. Part of the offer in local markets will be in the form of vinegar, which will add value to their production.
Our Partnership with Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Cooperative
Casa-Pueblito has been working with the Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Cooperative since 2009. At the beginning Casa-Pueblito acted as a bridge between donor families in Canada that supported a chicken coop project and the construction of two classrooms for the secondary school in 2012. In 2013, a group of student and teachers from the University of Winnipeg financed the construction of two more classrooms through the Casa-Pueblito Project Fund.
In 2014, Casa supported the third phase of the coffee cultivation project that began in 2012. In 2015, Casa supported the construction of 32 latrines and their shelters in the community of Santa Julia. The project sought to improve the health and hygiene conditions of the inhabitants, and included an educational component by providing workshops on hygiene and healthcare. In 2016, the cooperative is implementing a community garden and water collection project that aims to improve food security among the inhabitants of the community of Santa Julia.
School partners may get engaged in the practical activities of building community plantations, such as tilling the land, digging, planting, etc. Students may also be engaged in building water harvesting systems, which would entail digging deep holes into the ground.
Furthermore, students may engage in the everyday activities in the community in which they will be staying, such as taking care of livestock, cooking, cleaning, minor house repairs, etc. Since the children’s eatery is part of the community gardening project, students may also be engaged in helping in this project, such as cooking and serving food to the local children.