273 farmers have been trained in precision agriculture to enhance productivity and sustainability

  1. EARTH University’s sustainable agriculture development program benefits small and medium-sized farmers in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
  2. Made possible by a US $935,000 philanthropic grant from the Walmart Foundation, the program helps producers to know their land and crops better, and to connect with new markets.

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica, June 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 273 Costa Rican producers were trained in precision agriculture techniques by providing them with knowledge and technological tools to improve the productivity and environmental sustainability of their lands; as well as facilitating access to local markets in Costa Rica. Students and teachers have also been trained on agricultural topics in local schools.

This action is part of a program implemented by EARTH University with funding support from the Walmart Foundation, which has directly benefited 273 farmers, grouped into 7 organizations from different regions of the country such as CoopeCocotour, Asopaabi, El Trapiche, Ceproma La Palmera, CACProsa, Coopepilangosta and Coopeldos and 1,804 indirect beneficiaries.

"The Walmart Foundation’s focus on investing in sustainable production and market access for small producers aligns really well with Earth University’s core capabilities. The program implemented by EARTH is a great opportunity to consolidate a new model that allows small and mid-sized farmers to strengthen their critical role in building more sustainable food systems," said Arturo Condo, President of EARTH University.

EARTH Futures, EARTH University's global solutions center, is the means to implement this agreement, providing leadership and innovative solutions to meet the challenges of rural areas, promoting farmer competitiveness, resilience and environmental responsibility amidst an increasingly challenging setting.

On the other hand, precision agriculture technology being developed at EARTH gave farmers a better understanding of their land and crops, allowing them to make better decisions about how to manage their farms and resources to improve productivity in a sustainable way.

The program has hands-on training, technological support and recommendations based on the resulting experience and information.

Life-changing stories:

Marleny González, Manager at Coopecocotour

"Your support and collaboration through all this innovation is very valuable to Coopecocotour and to me, as a woman. We have managed to continue in this pandemic by offering products of a better quality and presentation, with new knowledge and experiences, transforming ourselves, innovating and learning; we are just innovators, experimenters and fighters. I am proud of my organization, we have worked hard with our own resources and demonstrated that we can become entrepreneurs. We have successfully become recognized on a national level, I am now empowered and have lost my fears and I have managed to impact my community with our project."

Seeking to strengthen the market, Coopecocotour has redesigned its labels and packaging based on a market survey, achieving an improvement in the presentation of its products. The support provided has brought clarity to the organization on how to strengthen its brand in the local market; a second step will be to strengthen our social networks and digital sales channels.

Shirley González, Orange farmer
"The ongoing assistance and advice that is being provided to producers through this project is extremely important. The University has the theoretical basis and scientific knowledge while we have the field experience that allows us to make practical applications and improve the quality and productivity of our crops and therefore contribute to the economy of our region in an environmentally friendly way; especially during times like the ones we are living in where climate change plays a major role in agriculture."

To date, Marleny and Shirley, as well as 25 families in this area have obtained benefits thanks to their access to local markets within the country.

About EARTH Futures
EARTH Futures - Leadership for Rural Innovation. "EARTH Futures is EARTH University's global solutions center that partners with academic institutions, rural communities and other like-minded partners around the world to transform rural areas for the better. We structure our efforts around 2 main pillars: Education for Leadership and Solution Development, with a focus on Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean."

EARTH is an International, non-profit private university, dedicated to Education for a holistic degree in Agricultural Sciences Engineering. The University prepares leaders with ethical values to contribute to sustainable development and building a more prosperous and fair society. Our students mainly come from rural areas, places that are essential for the future of Humanity.

For further information, contact:

Connie Burgos: coburgos@earth.ac.cr