Farmer- to-farmer exchange in the Tlatepusco and Otate river basin, Oaxaca, Mexico


The Santiago Tlatepusco, San Pedro Tlatepusco and Nopalera del Rosario communities live in an ancient and highly diverse biocultural landscape. Since 2004, a significant portion of their territories have been officially recognised as Voluntary Conserved Areas. Since then, these communities have been involved in many conservationist efforts to increase their awareness of and care for biodiversity. These three communities are also involved in the cultivation of cash crops such as coffee, cacao and honey, which demands specific knowledge and institutional organisation to ensure the yield of a marketable product that simultaneously contributes to (or at least does not harm) conservation objectives. However, external support for these three communities often privileges their VCAs and natural resource conservation rather than the improvement of cash crop management techniques that would help to increase quality of life and strenghten the conservation activities.

Farmer to farmer exchange

The principal objective of this project is to support the Chinantec communities of Santiago Tlatepusco, San Pedro Tlatepusco and Nopalera del Rosario to improve their sustainable cash crop management practices and help them build strong governing institutions for the marketing and management of production. It does so by organising knowledge and practice exchanges with the farmers and cooperative leaders of the town of Cuetzalan, located in Puebla, who have a long and successful history of institution-building and sustainable cash crop management practices.

 

Project Objectives

To enhance the local knowledge and strengthen local organisations using farmer-to-farmer exchange, as a mechanism to guide the sustainable environmental and socioeconomical improvement in the territories of Santiago Tlatepusco, San Pedro Tlatepusco and Nopalera del Rosario;

To support local conservation efforts carried out in the Tlatepusco and Otate river basin, geared towards improving current cash cropping knowledge and management, as a way to maintain the streams’ water quality, native forest cover and endangered species survival in the long term;

To build the initial framework to develop a better cash crops management, which help to increase local livelihoods and incomes of the Tlatepusco and Otate river basin communities.

 

Project Donor

Small Grants-Buck Kingman Initiative

 

Project Partner

Dr. Robin Marsh, Co-director, Center for Sustainable Resource Development, University of California at Berkeley