Urban Organic Agriculture at the University of Costa Rica
Jorge A. Briceño
Professor, University of Costa Rica
Ciudad Universitaria "Rodrigo Facio B." 2060
San José, Costa Rica, Central America.
Among the requirements for graduation at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), students must work 300 hours on a project which will benefit the Costa Rican community. We have begun a project of this type called University Community Work (UCW) in Urban Organic Agriculture linked to UCR's Organic Agriculture Program.
The project deals with the organic production of vegetables under urban conditions. We have been working with the community -Tirrases of Curridabat- near the main campus of UCR. In this UCW we have the participation of students from different areas such as Agriculture (Plant and Animal Sciences, Food Technology and Agriculture Business), Nutrition, Microbiology, Biology, Art Design, and Law which permits us to have a multi-disciplinary understanding of urban agriculture production and, in addition, to make many studies on this topic from different points of view.
Specific objectives of the project are:
- To organize production in the backyards of members of the community of Tirrases.
- To work for the establishment and maintenance of production units in different backyards.
- To teach people how to produce organic vegetables and use materials to fertilize and protect plants.
- To promote the consumption of organic products among the Costa Rican society.
- To prepare material related to the project and to share our experience with other sites.
This UCW will be extended in 2002 to the Santa Ana location, close to the UCR's Organic Agriculture Station, to have better facilities for field demonstration.
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