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.

Specific Objectives:  

  1. Establish 8 plantains and bananas plantations in the community of Santa Julia, El Crucero.
  2. Install 2 watering systems in the homes of members of the cooperative who live in most isolated areas of the community.
  3. Promote community engagement with community members from Santa Julia, especially men.
  4. Support the children’s eatery "Cherished Children", led by the Gloria Quintanilla Cooperative. 

Implementing partner

Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Cooperative

Doña Lola Esquivel, one of the community leaders of the Gloria Quintanilla Cooperative

Doña Lola Esquivel, one of the community leaders of the Gloria Quintanilla 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. 


The  Project

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. 

Group Engagement

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.