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Josco Bravo School offers free organic farming courses

People interested in learning to produce clean food are sought for participation in the Josco Bravo Agroecology Course. The school’s mission is to train a new generation of Puerto Rican farmers to increase food security on the island. 

The course for agroecological training is open to individuals interested in producing clean food for “family self-sufficiency” and those who wish to engage in commercial agriculture, according to a news release. Participants will learn, both “practically and theoretically,” how to develop crops with an agroecological perspective, from soil preparation to harvesting.

The experience, which will take place from February to June, includes a practical component where students cultivate an organic garden.

“The practical component is one of the most important elements of the course,” said Ian Pagán-Roig, agronomist and general coordinator of the Josco Bravo Agroecology School school. “Typically, students harvest more than 1,000 pounds of vegetables that they grow with their own hands and distribute among the participants.”

The course is free and offered once a week, simultaneously in 11 locations around Puerto Rico, for 20 weeks. The towns in which the course will be held are Aibonito, Guayama, Gurabo, Loíza, Mayagüez, Manatí/Ciales, Orocovis, Ponce, San Juan, Toa Alta and Toa Baja.

“In 2024, we commemorate the 11th anniversary of the school, where more than 1,000 agroecological producers and promoters have already graduated,” Pagán-Roig said. “We firmly believe that this is our greatest contribution to the country. We are developing a new generation of farmers that strengthens our food security as a people.”

Classes for the course kick off on Feb. 9-10. Selected participants will meet on Fridays or Saturdays, depending on the location.

Individuals interested in participating should complete the application form by Jan. 19.

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