OSAN - Accelerating low-carbon agricultural growth and biodiversity with small-scale producers in the Osa Peninsula
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Design and implementation of a training-of-trainers approach to build the capacity and skills of a local farmer organization to promote the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices
British Embassy San José under the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and individual donors through the GlobalGiving Platform
Palm oil, vanilla, cacao, plantain
Crops or productive systems
August 2021 – March 2022
111 Members (30% women) and extended farmer community of Osacoop R.L. farmer organization
About the project
The OSAN project’s aim to protect biodiversity while enhancing farm-based livelihoods on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula was twofold: 1) build the capacity and skills of the local Farmer Organisation (OSACOOP) to implement sustainable agricultural practices; and 2) facilitate dialogues among diverse local stakeholders to create a joint sustainable agriculture strategy for the peninsula that supports the delivery of environmental targets beyond COP26.
First a diagnostic field visit was conducted that provided an in-depth overview of the current situation and informed the design of the training approach.
SAN used a training-of-trainers approach to 1) equip OSACOOP lead farmers with the knowledge and skills to train their members on sustainable agricultural and environmental practices, and 2) create farm-level action plans, that will contribute to strengthening the cooperative and improving their livelihoods while protecting the environment. Nine training sessions equipped farmers with practical and actionable tools and knowledge to operate more efficiently by reducing the cost and usage of fertilizers and pesticides and diversify their production to increase resilience.
The trainings included practical tools that support pest and beneficial insect identification and monitoring, safe use of pesticides and less toxic alternatives, biodiversity protection and forest restoration techniques, income diversification options, small holder business development with a focus on biodiversity as value proposition.
Additionally, farmers received flower seed starter kits that attract beneficial insects and pollinators.
Two training sessions followed in which farmers were able to test their own training abilities and trained other OSACOOP and farming community members.
Throughout the activities, SAN facilitators engaged with farmers and local stakeholders to better comprehend the impact that climate change is having on the regions’ crops, farms and livelihoods. Farmers and stakeholders were asked what they expect from policy and decision makers at regional and county level; you can view the video online here.
SAN designed and organized a stakeholders’ roundtable to reunite the representatives of the different organizations and institutions working in the Osa Peninsula and encouraged them to discuss their work and identify common ground fora joint sustainable agriculture strategy for the Osa Peninsula. Such a strategy would be an important element to strengthen the commitment towards biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture, as well as to support the delivery of environmental targets beyond COP26. The Osa Peninsula is the ideal place to demonstrate how co-designing a sustainable agriculture strategy, with multiple stakeholders, can lead to balancing social, environmental, and economic outcomes.
Sixteen lead farmers (7 women and 8 men) have received training of trainer status.
Twenty-five members received training on environmentally friendly agriculture practices, biodiversity protection and forest restauration techniques.
Twenty-five farmers have created their own farm level action plans.
Six local organizations (Agrotrópico / Ascona, Aromas de Osa, Cooperativa Los Higuerones, Biriteca Agroecológica, Osacoop and Osa Conservation) committed to lead a joint sustainable strategy for the OSA Peninsula.