Farmfolio’s Ganaderia Pietrasanta (GP) project is located in the Colombian department of Cordoba along the country’s northwestern Caribbean coastline. A traditionally agricultural and cattle heavy region, the department of Cordoba is traversed by the Sinu river valley, which is one of the world’s most fertile terrains because of its volcanic and nutrient rich soil composition. Located right outside of the departmental capital of Monteria, within the Pueblo Bujo municipality, Ganaderia Pietrasanta is one of the region’s most innovative farms as it integrates agroforestry practices and diversifies its agricultural portfolio to boost income. This new and dynamic system of doing agriculture in the region is already yielding social and economic benefits for the region.
Getting to Know Farmfolio’s Community
The closest community to the Ganaderia Pietrasanta property is called La Julia and it is home to approximately 40 families or little over 200 people. Furthermore, about seven of those large families living in La Julia benefit directly from Farmfolio’s activity in the region through employment at the farm. Located right behind La Julia is El Balsal, which is home to most of GP’s employees. Moreover, El Balsal has the closest primary school, which consists of three classrooms with 4 teachers and some 65 students between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Unfortunately, La Julia’s primary school building stands empty as its students were consolidated into El Balsal’s primary school. Another rural community close to Farmfolio’s GP is called 10 De Febrero and it is also home to farm employees. This community hosts a small primary school with one classroom for students between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. However, given that there are 2 teachers and 28 students, half of the students are taught outdoors in order to have a group of 12 students and another one of 16.
Lastly, somewhat more distant from GP, are the rural communities of Cocuela and Pueblo Bujo. These two communities are not only home to some of the farm employees, but they also house the only middle and high schools in the region. In the case of Cocuelo, this community has a school that goes through 8th grade and welcomes some 90 students managed by 12 teachers. Furthermore, the school has a computer room with about 30 laptops for the students to learn how to manage basic software systems. In the case of Pueblo Bujo, the head of the rural municipality, their K through 12 school has some 21 teachers and over 900 students with approximately 50 student per grade. However, the school system suffers from a dropout rate of approximately 20%.
For the time being, Farmfolio’s contribution to its surrounding community comes mainly in the form of well-paid and permanent employment, given the fact that GP employs a larger amount of employees per hectare than any other farm in the region. Nevertheless, Farmfolio is conducting a rigorous assessment of its community’s needs and will soon determine how it can best contribute to enhancing the municipality’s quality of life.
(Read more about A Uniquely Special Corner in Colombia)