June 26, 2023

After getting to spend a couple of nights with the farmers in the village, we headed back to Florencia to put a few finishing touches on the logistics of the garden. Lucky for us, the grocery store we’re working with, Primo, has an amazing team working in the space of sustainable agriculture. We had the honor and privilege of getting to take a tour of Primo’s growing facility just outside of the city. Our tour was led by Edilberto, the grocery store’s gardening expert, and Juan Guillermo, the business expert for the grocery store. Our first big surprise was that Primo mostly focuses on hydroponics, the technique of growing plants using a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil. In general, hydroponic production systems are used by small farmers, hobbyists, and commercial enterprises. Edilberto explained to us and the village mayor, Hector, that this system basically only requires two hours of general upkeep and nutrient insertion per day. Hector seemed very impressed. Juan Guillermo went on to explain the economics of Primo’s smaller projects like this. As this part of Colombia experienced more conflict in the past, many of the local farmers have not fully reincorporated themselves into the markets for non-illicit crops, meaning that other parts of the country are preferable for big-scale grocery store chains. This has created the opportunity for Primo to move into the local market in Caqueta with the intention of helping small scale growers succeed in the new post-conflict marketplace. With everything we heard, we’re convinced that Primo is dedicated to peace and prosperity in the region.

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