I have been delinquent in posting about my farm tour adventures in the DR so I’m trying to catch up! If you haven’t read the other posts, I participated in the Sustainable Food Lab (SFL) Annual Summit discussing global sustainable supply chain and Sodexo, my company, sponsored the visit. We started with farm tours at a dairy, banana fields and then to the rice fields where I will pick up on the blog post. The last farm tour of the day was rice. First, a few things to know about rice. Typical rice production is very water intensive, uses 4-5 applications of chemicals and most farmers use a burn technique to clear old fields therefore releasing harmful greenhouse gases into the environment. I’ll explain more as I add pictures so you can visualize my description.
AgroFrontera is a non-profit organization in the DR that introduces environmental sustainable farming practices while working to improve the social equity and economic viability of the farmers. All of the farm tours were arranged by Dr. Frederick “Freddie” Payton the Executive Director of AgroFrontera. Freddie has done outstanding work in the area of farming but the most unbelievable to me was the work he’s done in and around my hometown of Colquitt, GA. First, no one ever knows Colquitt but Freddie named people in my hometown and my high school mascot. I was impressed. Even more impressed that someone was working on sustainable agriculture in southwest Georgia. I know that fact isn’t really meaningful to all but I think his three degrees in agriculture from some of the top ag schools in the country – Cornell, Iowa State and University of Georgia – make a strong statement.
The last thing I want to add here before moving on to pictures is the importance of rice to the environment. The importance of following this agriculture (bananas, dairy, rice) trail is because although this agriculture is inland the run off of the chemicals into the waterways that flow into the ocean at Monte Cristi National Park has negative environmental impacts. The next post will include more information about the fishing village and oceanside experience.
One more thing to add. It’s been a while since this trip so I hope I have deciphered my notes accurately. Any mistakes are my own and unintentional.
Now for some pictures and explanations! I’m using a slide show for the pictures so click on the first one to enlarge and then you can see larger images and text.