Operations Director Damion Croston visited operations in Panama a couple of weeks ago; this is his report.
The last several months has seen a flurry of activity on the ground as we expanded our tropical hardwood plantations by 20% and increased total plantain production ten fold! We also harvested our first crop of plantains from last year’s pilot project generating revenue for our shareholders and community forestry partners.
This past quarter our community partners helped us plant approximately 5,500 mixed species saplings in a new plot of land in Arimae, while integrating plantains throughout some of our existing plantations. This is our first new planting since 2008, and we’re looking forward to adding value to our forestry investments through continued intercropping in each of our projects. This was also the first year that we purchased saplings from Arimae's native species nursery, which was facilitated by a grant from the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme.
We also recently presented the leadership of Arimae with a $10,000 payment for leasing the new plot of land. This money will be set aside for community projects which will benefit the residents of Arimae. We’re excited to be able to offer our shasreholders the opportunity to have an impact in the economic development of our partner communities. We will be hosting a group visit to see our operations in Panama in June. Contact us if you're interested in going!