BFRDP Projects

Enhancing the Local Food System in Vieques, PR through Capacity Building of Beginning Farmers
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $464,575
Grant Program: 2021 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Edgar Ruiz
Organization: Community Through Colors


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

This project has enhanced food access for low-income communities living with extreme food insecurity in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The project team improved access to food for low-income residents by improving food system efficiency and resilience. The approach focused on two interconnected goals: 1) enhancing the farming industry to produce high volumes of nutritious and healthy food; and 2) improve food system sustainability with unique financial mechanisms and distribution models. CTC acted as a centralized food hub by aggregating organic food produced by farmers, networking consumers and producers, and managing the delivery of that food to both low-income consumers and businesses. Half of production from the incubator farm was devoted to supporting low-income communities in Vieques; the other was be sold to local restaurants, grocery stores, retailers, and farmer’s markets. Sales to local businesses offset the cost of CTC operations to ensure low-income communities were provided a reliable source of food. CTC has established and coordinated a compost program for farmers through farm waste and food waste collection from food businesses to supply farmers with valuable compost. The Team has created a series of workshops focusing on value-added processing to enhance the output of local food products, thereby increasing value capture and enhancing livelihoods from food products. CTC has performed farm assessments and developed resource security plans for farmers, including conservation strategies for water, soil, and energy. Farmers have been provided a CTC agricultural manual and projected planting schedule for 2024 that accounts for the unique rain and drought periods in Vieques.This project drastically improved the food system in Vieques by not only helping hundreds of low-income residents to obtain access to healthier, more reliable food sources, but also by helping to grow the number of local producers to improve food security and resilience on the island.

Number of Participants: 150


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success