Fellow Since 1997
Coop.Red Arborizadora Campo y Progreso,CRACYP
This profile was prepared when Raúl Cabrera was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1997.
The New Idea
As the part-owner of an international agricultural exporting company, Raúl understands the issues involved in the production and marketing of nontraditional crops. His idea is to work with small producers in distinct regions of Ecuador in the cultivation of ginger, cardamom, black pepper, eucalyptus, aloe vera, and maracuya, while simultaneously undertaking a program of reforestation for ecological consciousness. Raúl brings farmers the technology to produce and manage new crops, guidance in all phases of cultivation, a farm to demonstrate the results, and assistance with commercialization. Among others who promote nontraditional, higher value-added crops as generators of both employment and increased income, Raúl adds a link with conservation measures: to receive his services, farmers must also agree to plant a certain number of trees, and attend courses on ecology. Raúl has developed an integrated project which provides farmers with a source of income throughout the year that is not dependent on the booms and busts of one traditional export crop. He is also finding new markets to export the crops he proposes, to promote a sustainable economy for small farmers. He establishes contacts and business relations for farmers, and he acts as an intermediary between producers and the enterprises which buy the products.