Project Kwakoegron "Organic Agriculture & sustainable tourism
Geographical location (state, location, climate, income opportunities, population)
Republic of Suriname / South America approx. 560,000 inhabitants
Former colony of the Netherlands. Plantations and slave farming until July 1, 1863
Independent republic since 1975
From 1980 to 1992 coups and civil war with a strong economic decline, increasing impoverishment.
Reconstruction and consolidation of the economy
Suriname is a democratic constitutional state with many ethnic groups and cultures. In addition to Indians, descendants of the escaped slaves (chestnut), descendants of the plantation slaves (Creoles), Indians, Lebanese, Javanese, Chinese, Portuguese Jews and a few Europeans live peacefully with one another in Suriname.
With the decline in bauxite, oil and gold prices, Suriname is again in a very stressful economic crisis. Poverty, unemployment and crime are on the rise.
Place / region:
Surroundings Kwakoegron in the district of Brokopondo / Suriname / South America
Root area of the Matawai
The Brokopondo District is a district in Suriname on an area of 21,440 sq km with only about 18,000 inhabitants. Brokopondo is divided into 6 administrative districts (departments), including the Kwakoegron department.
For a long time, gold was mined in the Brokopondo district, which contributed to the poisoning of the rivers by the use of mercury and thus to the health of the residents.
The use of mercury is currently being politically and legally criminalized.
Agriculture in particular, but also tourism, is recognized as a new opportunity to secure the local population's income.
Brokopondo and the Kwakoegron region are home to several nature reserves and extensive rainforest vegetation.
In times of slavery, African slaves fled from the plantations to the impassable jungle areas of Suriname and developed real republics with their own culture, language and forms of survival. Among them the Matawai. The Matawai are a chestnut people who live in Kwakoegron and in about 20 villages north of Kwakoegron on the Samaracca River.
After the Saramaccanes had made peace with the colonial administration in 1762, a group led by the chiefs Baku and Musinga was formed. In 1769, an independent peace treaty was signed with this Marron group. Since then, this group has been regarded as an independent people, namely the Matawai.
After the abolition of slavery, these areas were largely excluded from any development. The exploitation of these areas (gold, stone chips and wood) did not benefit the population. The area with its villages is neglected. Most of the Matawai living in the main association moved to the city to find their livelihood. There are hardly any jobs, no income and no development in the Matawai area.
Although Kwakoegron was connected to the then gold fields by a narrow-gauge railway in the early 20th century and experienced a certain heyday during this time, Kwakoegron and even more the surrounding villages can be seen as a forgotten or neglected area in the rainforest vegetation. The villages can only be reached by boat. However, Kwakoegron can be reached via a good slope and is therefore only an hour's drive from the international airport in Zanderij and only 2 1/2 hours from Paramaribo.
The power supply is rudimentary. Drinking water is supplied via tank trucks. There is a completely desolate historic Herrenhuter church, a school up to 6th grade, an administration, police and a small health center. This involves about 6 workplaces.
There are no other jobs.
Although around 400 residents are registered in Kwakoegron, there are only around 100 people who try to organize their lives there.
Parents move into the city with their children to have them go to high schools and build a livelihood.
There is no perspective in Kwakoegron and the surrounding villages.
That is why it is necessary to take up existing opportunities in this area and to develop alternatives to overcome poverty and lack of prospects.
The project aims to use new approaches to agricultural cultivation through “agroforestry and organic farming”. By abandoning the traditional method of slash-and-burn farming and dealing more carefully with the environment, new job and development opportunities are to be created. Furthermore, through the product processing of the harvested vegetables and fruits, the framework should increase the sales opportunities on the market and thus the profit.
permanent training events in the field of organic farming and in product processing ( for example how to make jam with the harvested fruits, how to make different types of chilisalsas or how to cook or bake with cassava ) are to be organized for residents and employees
Various buildings are planned on the project site: a processing building with an integrated kitchen, a greenhouse and tree nursery, a café for guests and residential units for tourists
is to stimulate unemployment and lack of prospects in the Matawai area by helping people to help themselves and to specifically overcome the problems and the lack of development.
to plant all kinds of trees, vegetables and spices:
Cassava, bananas, ginger, turmeric, pepper, cocoa, coffee, papaya bread tree, mango, vanilla, cashew, coconut, jackfruit, noni, neem