Creating an Agroforestry Based Economic Sector in a Tropical Rainforest

caprio et alSponsoring organization: United States Forest Service

Team members: Andrea Caprio, Thomas Harless, Rachel Hesse, Gregory Kornichuk, Lindsey Wilson

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Abstract: For several decades, Puerto Rico has struggled with food self-sufficiency, meaning that the island does not produce enough food to meet its consumption. The goal of this project was to recommend methods to establish a sustainable agroforestry industry in El Yunque National Forest. The establishment of this industry could contribute to the improvement of the food self-sufficiency of Puerto Rico. To determine the feasibility of a new industry, we conducted an agroforestry assessment and completed a market evaluation. In addition, we designed a business model as well as an education plan to spread awareness. In collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service and local experts, we provided a set of recommendations for continued research and implementation of a sustainable agroforestry plan.