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KardiaNuts, Colombia

  • Definition
    Devising project idea, defining the aim and main components
  • Design
    Specifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
  • Open to Financing
    Searching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
  • Implementation
    Execution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
  • Maintenance
    Operational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
  • Scaling Up
    Scaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.

KardiaNuts is a cashew farm located in the district of Vichada, Colombia, just a few miles east of the Andes Mountains. An area that has the potential to become an agricultural powerhouse and feed millions of people. However, it is also one of the poorest areas of Colombia known for its low rural infrastructure. With the support of reNature, KardiaNuts wants to create a regenerative agroforestry Model School and contribute to inclusive rural development in Colombia. Through the creation of a sustainable nut-based agroforestry value chain, the livelihood of the local people will be improved in the long term as well as the ecosystem services.

Source: KardiaNuts

This project is open to financing

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Fostering Sustainable and Inclusive Development  

Vichada has Colombia’s second-highest poverty rate, with 68 percent of the population struggling to satisfy basic needs. Nonetheless, this district is Colombia’s second-largest, with agricultural output accounting for one-third of the land (3.8 million hectares). Unfortunately, socio-political obstacles have hampered the area’s successful (rural) development, threatening the livelihoods of many local residents as well as the long-term management of natural resources. 

In order to intervene in this lengthy history of sociopolitical instability, rural development must be inclusive. The goal of the project is to connect small farmers to the cashew value chain and improve their living conditions. This will be accomplished by enhancing local capacities, improving access to funding, and increasing the commercial viability of organic certified products.

Education plays a significant impact as well. Farmers will be trained to build sustainable conservation farming techniques and understand that improving ecosystem services leads to long-term economic sustainability through regenerative agroforestry Model Farms and Schools.

KardiaNuts is supporting sustainable and inclusive development by allowing local farmers to participate in the cashew value chain and earn decent and fair wages while also protecting the environment and natural resources. 

Matured Cashew tree. Source: KardiaNuts

Educating farmers for climate adaptation

KardiaNuts operates a model farm in Vichada to produce knowledge for the region and to demonstrate to small farmers that similar lucrative strategies may be implemented. This year, a pilot program with 20 landless farmers is being implemented. The program will be scaled up to encourage more farmers based on the lessons learned from the pilot and with the help of reNature. Through this project, small-scale farmers will acquire the right tools to have better market access.

Vichada is anticipated to be one of Colombia’s most affected regions due to climate change. In the next 20 years, an increase in temperature of more than +1.6 degrees Celsius is projected, causing severe changes in the environment, biodiversity loss, and land degradation. Slash and burn agriculture, as well as other damaging agricultural practices, are destroying many important biodiversity regions. 

KardiaNuts Nursery Team. Source: KardiaNuts

Improving land management

The goal is to inspire and educate thousands of farmers throughout time by establishing agroforestry Model Schools. The farmland will serve as a regional model farm that can be researched and replicated. KardiaNuts has also built a nursery that produces 85,000 cashew seedlings every year, and they have planted 460 hectares of land owned by KardiaNuts and other landowners so far. They’ve also experimented with different crops in order to further develop an agroforestry system that will provide food security for small farmers, as well as introduced organic fertilizers and insecticides made by KardiaNuts.

KardiaNuts Nursery. Source: KardiaNuts

Improved land management can boost productivity by 10% and lower input costs, resulting in output prices that are lower than or equal to conventional prices. They started designing a processing factory this year (2021), which will be operational in 2022. Overall, this project improves the quality of life by providing food security, a more healthy diet, and more income for the farmers involved.  

Consistent income for farmers 

Regenerative agroforestry techniques help to diversify crops and provide a more consistent and reliable income stream. The creation of an inclusive and long-term value chain will boost entrepreneurship among small farmers, enhancing market access and financial resources. 

A greater variety of food can be sold locally and high-value crops can also be sold internationally. As a result, employment can be significantly improved and generated along the value chain. In the long term this type of business creates economies of scale that are required for value-added infrastructure and competitive international prices. 

Because the project is in a poor, rural location, it will benefit numerous communities and indigenous peoples. This is especially significant for women because they are often the ones who work in agriculture and need a consistent income to support their family. 


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