Bernardo Rojas Montoya

Ashoka Fellow
San José, Costa Rica
Fellow Since 2002


This profile was prepared when Bernardo Rojas Montoya was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
An agronomist by training, Bernardo has spent over 15 years helping small-scale Costa Rican farmers reap the benefits of an increased global demand for organic goods. Realizing that producers of scale can reach small domestic markets as well as the foreign marketplace, Bernardo is working with successful, global-scale organic farmers to transfer knowledge and skills to the more marginal producers. He sees the creation of a network of organic business entrepreneurs as the next critical stage in sustainable and agricultural development.
In addition to implementing an infrastructure investment and training strategy that targets marginal producers, Bernardo is leading efforts to help organic producers identify opportunities in local markets. He conducted a comprehensive industry-wide assessment that supports his notion that Latin Americans are eager to embrace organically grown foods. He has developed an education campaign to reverse the Costa Rican trend of consuming chemical-laced produce imported from the United States. By providing marketing support to small-scale producers and informing local consumers about the benefits and affordability of organic goods, Bernardo aims to pave the way toward sustainable, market-based development opportunities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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