Grow Ahead and Cooperative Coffees teamed up with Peruvian Cooperativa Norandino to successfully plant 45,000 trees, reforesting 45 hectares of land in Piura, Peru! The program is geared towards revitalizing the coffee production for families in Las Lomas de Palo Blanco, as well as supporting the conservation and reforestation of the local ecosystem.
Norandino Cooperative Member, Francisco Sancho Garcia shows off his 4 acre farm in which he grows fruit trees, hardwood trees and coffee in a food-forest system.
Farmer-driven reforestation programs are critical because they bridge the need for climate action and supporting community livelihoods. Through planting trees, farmers are able to increase food production and restore the water and nutrients to the soil all while pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. Karina Garcia Moreto, a community member who has been working with reforestation projects in Chocó, Piura for nearly 20 years stated, “Planting trees lets us better the lives of future generations”.
Cooperativa Norandino has a strong history of being devoted to reforestation since 2010 and is committed to continuing with its ambitious reforestation projects within the cooperative of 7,000 members. This upcoming year they will reforest another 100 hectares of land with a hope of reforesting 500 hectares in the coming years.
So the reforestation project was funded but what does that mean? Norandino works directly with community-organized Reforestation Committees that work in their own community to create the plan and timeline for reforestation. This includes how many hectares will be planted, what species of trees and who is responsible for the planting and maintenance. The Reforestation Committees work with community members during 'mingas' or days of community work where community members each bring a dish to share for a potluck lunch and come together to work. During these mingas, community members work in the nurseries to germinate seeds, transfer germinated seeds into individual bags and take care of the seedlings until they become saplings that are strong enough to be planted in the project areas.
During the growing season, they work to plant the saplings in forest systems and the Reforestation Committees divide the work of maintaining and ensuring that the saplings grow into strong trees!
Reforestation and tree planting is about more than just trees. We worked with the cooperative to to cover the cost of the installation of nurseries, the technical assistance for the management and implementation of the project, planting coffee and forest seedlings and the creation of two community associations for conservation.
We are proud of our work with Cooperativa Norandino and look forward to supporting more community-driven reforestation projects to tackle climate change and support small-scale farmers!