A vertical indoor farming project supported by the Otoao Health Corp. (known as COSSAO for its initials in Spanish) was inaugurated recently to promote hydroponic crops inside cargo containers at the Antonio Tulla Torres School in Utuado.
The project has the support of nonprofits ConPRmetidos and the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, which provided financial assistance to launch the project that also had technical support from Grupo Vesan to purchase the containers.
The joint effort has enabled the school’s students and teachers to access new farming technologies.
The hurricane-proof containers are mainly being used to grow lettuce. The container project also provides an educational component, teaching students and teachers about agribusiness, accounting, agricultural technologies and food security in the event of a catastrophe.
It also allows the community to generate additional income that helps maintain the COSSAO public health clinic and supports the community school that currently has a limited annual budget of $6,000. The project is headed by Francisco “Tito” Valentín, president of COSSAO.
“COSSAO and the Antonio Tulla School appreciate the contribution to this project by ConPRmetidos and the Puerto Rico Community Foundation as they have shown an ongoing interest in supporting our communities by contributing not only to this agricultural initiative, but also to COSSAO’s other community initiatives such as our Community Clinic and the seed tray production project and recycling of organic matter in our community,” he said.