Minera San Rafael promotes the “Sustainable Farms” program in coordination with local communities. The majority of rural populations in MSR’s area of influence rely on the farming of grains, onions and coffee. MSR created the Sustainable Farms program to ensure food security for families and generate income through commercialization of products produced on these farms.
Since 2015, thirteen Sustainable Farms have been created in San Rafael las Flores and Casillas benefiting 100 farmers, primarily women, and providing their families with healthy food and a modest income. MSR provides training and technical assistance on how to make organic fertilizers and rainwater harvesting systems, constructs poultry houses and livestock sheds, and donates the initial cost for the animals and food. Sustainable Farms beneficiaries provide construction labor and contribute a portion of the cost for materials, animals and feed. Results are measured by the production of tomatoes, chili peppers, eggs, broiler chickens and pigs. As an example, MSR recently recorded an average combined production of 5,000 eggs per month by the laying hens on all thirteen farms.
The program continues to thrive in Casillas and San Rafael las Flores. MSR donated additional laying hens and chickens in April 2018, which was complemented by the purchase of additional chickens by the beneficiaries, utilizing profits from the sale of eggs in 2017.
“In our village there is a lot of demand for eggs, so we continue participating in MSR’s Sustainable Farms program and we also have bought additional chickens to meet demand and increase our income,” said María Martínez about her farm located in El Fucío village, San Rafael las Flores.