Agroecology is a science and set of farming practices that combines agronomy, society and ecology. Its goal is to create biodiverse, resilient and fertile environments, use and recycle the nutrients and the energy of agroecosystems, while maintaining their self-sustaining capacity. Agroecological farming strives to achieve diversification at farm and/or landscape level, augment biological interactions and agroecosystem synergies as well as reduce dependence on agrochemicals and energy inputs (Altieri, 2002; Miller et al., 2019; Nicholls et al., 2017).
We purchase the seedlings from a local plant nursery in Cochabamba and plant them on the land parcels of farming communities that received the agroecological PGS certificate or have officially started the three-years-long certification procedure.
Participatory Guarantee Systems (“PGS”) are “locally focused quality assurance systems [that] certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders.” (IFOAM, 2008). They are built on trust, transparency, social network and knowledge exchange, which altogether reduce certification costs and time (Rosse, 2018).
The Bolivian agroecological PGS certificate is a third party certification system with peer-to-peer verification of organic farming standards, which was introduced by National Law 3525/2005 (Rosse, 2018).
To obtain and keep the agroecological PGS certificate, farmers must:
- avoid using chemical pesticides
- use organic inputs in farming
- avoid parallel farming of organic and conventional crops in the same area (Rosse, 2018).
Standards are monitored by the Unidad de Coordinacion del Consejo Nacional de Produccion Ecologica (UC-CNAPE), which involves both public and private actors, and the Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria e Inocuidad Alimentaria (SENASAG) (Rosse, 2018).
Our local business partners AGRECOL Andes buys the seedlings from the local plant nursery and provides them to the representatives of the certified farming communities, part of the AGRECOL Andes network.
Every farming community representative distributes the seedlings to the community members that wants to host the tree on his/her property. The community member will plant it and take care of it following the agroecological standards set by National Law no. 3525/2005.
Yes, you can. Every seedling is given a personalized name that you can choose. It can be either your name, nickname, or the name of the person you are gifting it to. Every tree is then equipped with a biodegradable name tag with the name that you chose.
Approximately four months, at max. Every two months (end of January, end of March, end of May, end of July, end of September, end of November) we send an order to AGRECOL Andes with all the purchases we collected in the two previous months. After the order is sent and the transaction is performed, AGRECOL Andes buy the seedlings from the plant nursery and delivers them to the farming community representatives, who will then name tag and distribute them to their community members. Photos of the planted trees are then sent to AGRECOL Andes, who forwards them back to us. Due to COVID-19 mobility restrictions, the whole procedure can take up to two months after the transaction is performed.
Yes, you can. Together with the photo of your tree, you will receive the GPS coordinate of the farming community where it was planted.
Yes, you can. In the photo we will send you, you will also see the local farmer that decided to host your tree and his/her name.