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Organic Teaching Garden in Los Martinez

The Ocoa Climate Farmers

making the connection between organic agriculture and climate activism, and promoting both

Rural farming communities in the Dominican Republic are well aware of the health and economic failures of "Green Revolution" industrial-style agriculture. They are also very conscious of the increasingly perceptible impacts of climate change. The Ocoa Climate Farmers project focuses on the intersection of rural sustainability and climate activism, through encouraging the transition to regenerative organic agriculture.

In this innovative project that exemplifies “think globally, act locally”, the Rural Alternatives Center of El Limon, Dominican Republic (CAREL) is partnering with the Association for the Development of Los Martinez (ASOPADELOMA) to create a practical model for the transition to regenerative organic agriculture, with the farmers themselves acting as change agents to replicate their project in nearby communities.

The pilot project has world-level political implications, opening an active role for marginalized rural people to personally and consciously challenge climate change.  At the same time, it addresses the challenges of economic hardship, health problems, and environmental degradation that forty years of chemical agriculture have brought to the mountains of the Dominican Republic.

The underlying science of carbon sequestration is sound.  While the amount of carbon dioxide to be removed from the atmosphere per hectare is relatively modest, the Rodale Institute, among others, calculate that the planet's one billion small and peasant farmers could make a major contribution to reducing global warming, and even eventually rolling back atmospheric carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels. 

To maintain a focus on the carbon sequestration aspect of the project, for the farmers and for the world, CAREL will provide a rigorous, participatory science-based measurement of the soil's increasing carbon content as the project proceeds. To do this, we have built... in the mountain village of Los Martinez... the island's first laboratory with the capacity to measure the Total Organic Carbon in the participating farmers' soil.

The project will require a major shift in the farmers’ agricultural paradigm, which is being supported by model demonstration community gardens and by the participation of local and national experts in integrated sustainable agriculture.  We are also working to develop active local, regional, and national markets for organic produce, particularly through "farm to table" models.

CAREL has the credibility, experience, and access to resources to make this project succeed, with its village-based training center and a 20-year track record that has resulted in some 45 community-based micro-hydroelectric systems serving over 15,000 residents.  But as a grassroots, village-based nonprofit we rely on modest donations to get our projects moving. 

Photos and Videos from the Dominican Republic


Soil Carbon Lab in Los Martinez

Teaching Organic Farming Skills

Organic Teaching Garden

Los Martinez

Esmelin Mateo, Farmer and Teacher







Hot News!

(literally... the analyzer oven operates at 1050 degrees C!)



Los Martinez resident Maiker Guerrero Operating the Analyzer

click here to watch the first soil carbon analysis in Los Martinez

September 1, 2018



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Carbon Sequestration Documents

The Agroecology Center Plan

Measuring Soil Carbon in Los Martinez



By the Numbers:
Why the Ocoa Climate Farmers Project Just Makes Sense

  1. An increasing body of scientific thought says that sequestering atmospheric carbon in the soil through regenerative agriculture has great potential for combating climate change

  2. The best technology available for carbon sequestration is organic agriculture that has been optimized for regenerating soil: hence "regenerative organic agriculture"

  3. Small and family farmers are favorably positioned to adopt regenerative organic agriculture; large-scale industrial agriculture is not

  4. Each small farmer can only sequester a modest amount of atmospheric carbon, but there are about one billion small and family farmers in the world, producing some 60% of the world's food.

  5. If most of the world's small farmers adopted regenerative agriculture, they could sequester massive amounts of carbon, on the order of the world's fossil fuel emissions

  6. Time is running out, but relatively few small farmers are making the transition to regenerative agriculture

  7. The best way to encourage that transition is to create successful demonstration projects, so that farmers can see that regenerative organic agriculture works for their peers

  8. We can raise farmers' consciousness about being climate activists, and make them more effective at sequestering carbon, by actually measuring the carbon they sequester in their soils

  9. The farming village of Los Martinez offers an enthusiastic and capable base for this pilot project, including the soil lab