Honoring the life of our beloved friend Silvia Rioja

March 1959 - May 2019

March 1959 - May 2019

Passion is undoubtedly the best word to describe Silvia Rioja; passion for life, family, work, and as a dedicated biologist, passion for nature, especially the world of plants.

Argentinian by birth and Costa Rican by decision, she extended the passions that characterized her with all those who had the good fortune to meet her and work at her side in her adopted country and elsewhere.

Her strong and determined character, as well as her total honesty, were Silvia’s trademarks, along with a deep knowledge of botany, organic agriculture and gardening that she generously shared with anyone who sought her advice.

The world of sustainable agriculture is better today thanks to Silvia. She was the author of a model of learning and capacity development that for years served to train auditors around the planet, so it is easy to remember her often talking and answering queries at dawn or late at night, interacting with colleagues and friends in Indonesia, India, Ghana, Kenya, Europe and Latin America.

Silvia had the keen, analytical mind of a scientist, and the heart and instinct of a farmer deeply connected to the earth. Her invaluable lessons, given to so many, will not be forgotten.


This beloved member of the Sustainable Agriculture Network family leaves a legacy that will endure for generations. We must not forget the passion and joy that she brought to the world through everything she did, and we celebrate her life by allowing that legacy to live on in all of us through our dedication to a more sustainable agriculture and this planet.