P.R. Science Trust launches ecological agri-tourism program
“Recuperación Agrícola,” an initiative of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust in collaboration with the American Red Cross created to provide financial and technical assistance for local farmers after Hurricane María, announced the launching of a new ecological agritourism platform to continue boosting the sector.
The new initiative is running jointly with the INprende platform to empower local entrepreneurs in the areas of agri-ecological entrepreneurship, with a focus on tourism development. This initiative seeks to provide motivation, guidance and training needed by agri-business entrepreneurs.
“We continue to address the needs of the agricultural segment. In that sense, the area of ecological agritourism presents tremendous opportunities not only as an economic engine but also as a tool toward food security in Puerto Rico, which has become so important in these times of climate change,” said Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo.
“INprende has become a great ally in this process of agri-entrepreneurship so we’re excited to launch this new program,” she said.
The implementation of this program includes business training, validation exercises and strategic business ideas for the development of potential ideas, including coaching.
The Science Trust team will be in charge of selecting a total of 25 agriculture-related companies with an ecological focus and an interest in tourism development.
The group will participate in three, six-hour workshops, which will be led by various specialists in the validation of new businesses. The workshops seek to train participants “in a practical and dynamic way” on issues of validation and development of agri-ecological projects with a tourism-related scope, which in turn will create areas of opportunity.
“Our partnership with the Trust allows us to continue making business education accessible in a practical and innovative way. We greatly value the trust placed in INprende and remain focused on providing tangible results,” said Alessandra Correa, founder of INprende.
At the end of the cycle, the best two projects will be selected to embark on a three-month individualized counseling program with INprende coaches to clear up doubts regarding techniques to develop agri-ecological tourism projects.
A total of 450 farmers have benefited from the “Recuperación Agrícola” program, which benefited from a $3 million investment from the American Red Cross. The farmers and beekeepers received microgrants in the form of $1,000 vouchers to purchase equipment, tools and agricultural needs such as seeds, seedlings, fertilizers and compost, cleaning and recovery crews.
The participants have also received training in different areas of agribusiness, distribution channels of agricultural products, and practices that are resilient to climate change and sustainable techniques.