mexico farmer

This Crowdfunding Campaign Hopes to Save 50 Small Family Farms in Mexico

mexico farmer

Despite the $7 billion of Mexico’s fresh fruit and vegetables consumed by Americans each year, most small family farms south of the border remain impoverished. Among the hardest hit by the inequities of the NAFTA agreement, over half of rural Mexicans today live in poverty, 25% of them in extreme poverty.

Fancy Fresh Farms“” an American-owned produce distributor based in Mexico””is sponsoring a massive annual seed giveaway to help 50 small family farms get back to work this August.

This unique project promises to be one of the most effective ways of restoring farms that can no longer afford to plant, despite otherwise near-perfect growing conditions. Participat­ing farmers are never at risk. The seeds are a gift, not a loan. Instead of paying back the cost of the seeds, each farmer keeps the proceeds to purchase their own seeds the follow­ing year. Depending on their individual circumstances, it is possible that at least some of those participating will be debt-free within one growing season. At the same time, the program is expected to generate up to 2000 jobs.

Mexico farmers

How many farms we can help depends entirely on the generosity of donors like you. Our ultimate goal is $375,000 to pay for the first round of 1 million seeds needed to plant approximately 300 hectares at an average cost of only $7500 per farm. At the same time, all will receive the support needed to prepare the ground, start and transplant the seedlings, monitor and sustain growth, harvest, and pack and ship the produce to its ultimate destination, which will provide an immediate boost to the surrounding local economy.

Why seeds instead of cash?  One of the biggest obstacles, Fancy Fresh founder Troy Bachmann has discovered, is the cost of quality seeds.  For instance, watermelon seeds cost $.25 each.  Mango transplants are $20 apiece.  “Very few farmers have that kind of cash,” he explains. “So they end up in deeply in debt with high interest loans, working for the banks. Or they’re ripped off by unscrupulous brokers.”

Based in the heart of Mexico’s leading agricultural district, Fancy Fresh Farms founder Troy Bachmann, is an Oregon state University graduate who has lived in central Mexico for 19 years. During that time, Bachmann has built four companies from the ground up, using 100 percent indigenous labor. Since starting Fancy Fresh, he spends approximately 75 percent of his time in the field, meeting face-to-face with growers.

For more information on how to support this initiative, vist the project on indiegogo.

Photo small family farms in Mexico via 

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