Fair Trade Agroforestry Research and Economics Internship in The Amazon Rainforest
Travel to Ecuador and become a fair trade agroforestry, research or economics intern for a unique tea project. This project is looking to benefit the local community by focusing on sustainable economic development, cultural preservation and conservation. By working directly with indigenous farming families, this innovative social enterprise seeks to regenerate the cultivation of a native Amazon tea, that has been used for thousands of years in traditional ceremonies. This tea cooperatives goals are to generate income for the local community of farmers and sustain natural resources, including water, by training the farmers in permaculture and integrated land use.
The original goal of this project was to further incentivise the production of this ancient, native tea and to ensure that the current Fair Trade price truly covers all of the costs of production. This continues to be a primary objective of the project but it has now expanded to encompass a multi-faceted approach to farmer participation, data collection and agricultural economic analysis. This is an amazing project with many diverse programmes and learning opportunities for international interns.
Interns will investigate the costs and benefits of growing the tea in the region as well as assessing the impact of the programs initiatives. Your actual tasks will vary depending on your skills and interests as well as the needs of the project at the time of your internship. Specific activities in which you may be involved include:
• Train farmers how to use and measure their economic activities
• Create a database that measures the production of crops and welfare of farmers
• Produce training notes and diagrams for researchers and farmers
• Spend time in the field planting guayusa and other trees in a buffer zone to preserve the area
• Plant research plots and monitor results
• Use GIS to create maps that outline areas of production
• Create a feasibility study for generating payments through a local water tax
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