WFP Innovation Accelerator - Diary of the Groasis project in Colombia - Projects

WFP Innovation Accelerator - Diary of the Groasis project in Colombia

In 2017, Groasis has been selected through the United Nations World Food Program Innovation Accelerator, to run a project in order to investigate the impact that the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology can have on reaching the “Zero Hunger by 2030” target. You can read the complete press message here.

In the diary below, you can read the daily messages from Ana Terranova, our official Groasis distributor who leads the project in Colombia in cooperation with David Arango from Biofog, our distributor in Colombia, on behalf of Groasis. To see all the pictures of this project, please check out our photo album

Starting with the 'Zero Hunger by 2030' project

Monday, January 29

Together with Jeyson, who is an Argonomist Engineer, we started our activities in the WFP Pasto Office. We were received by Mario and Carmen Lucía. Beside them, we met the others of the office’s staff. Everybody was very kind, and we explained them how the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology works, and what you can do with the Waterboxx® plant cocoon (the concept, components, species planted).

After this, we checked the warehouse where 1,050 Waterboxxes and Growsafes were stored. Altogether we arranged the delivery of the boxes to Almaguer.

Groasis and the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator first day of the project in Colombia

From left to right: Mario, Carmen Lucía, Ana, Jeyson

At the end of the afternoon, we bought a tomato Tahiti specie. We will use this for the video of tomorrow (Tuesday). We will be a part in the video that the World Food Programme will make about the different projects they have carried out during 2017.

Tuesday, January 30

We arrived at 08:30 at the office of the World Food Programme. While organizing our speeches and preparing ourselves for the video, various people from the press from Bogota arrived to film and to conduct the interview. They asked us about the Groasis Technology, what our plan is, and how we will help the beneficiaries in Almaguer. We hope to receive the video in March!

Mrs Ana Terranova member of Groasis during the interview for the WFPs annual video

Ana, member of Groasis, during her interview for the WFP's annual video

After the video, we went to the area where we will plant the Lemon tree and Jeyson will do the tutorial about how to plant with Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon. He was very good, considering it was his first time talking about Waterboxx® plant cocoon.

The WFP team was very enthusiastic about the boxes, and asked to their supervisor if they could use a couple of them to test them in a very dry area around Nariño.

In the afternoon, the Waterboxx® plant cocoons were sent to Almaguer by a truck. The boxes will arrive tomorrow, in the same way as we do. It was a very long day, on Wednesday we will have a long trip to Almaguer by car (around 6 hours).

Wednesday, January 31

We arrived at 08:30 at the office of the World Food Programme. We started our trip to Almaguer immediately. We heard that the WFP office could keep a couple of the boxes in order to test them around Nariño.

The highway in Nariño Department is very good, but when you arrive to the Cauca side, it is a curvy highway with a lot of military and policemen in every small town. Almost 7 hours later, we finally arrived in Almaguer, where the truck with the boxes was waiting for us.

We could store the Waterboxx® plant cocoons in a room in the house of Osvilda, a woman who participates in this project. I used the rest of the day to prepare the brochures, information sheets, and the slideshows to explain how the technology works for the female leaders of AMURA.

Thursday, February 1st

Today we have started at the community house where we came together with members of the WFP and the female leaders of AMURA. Everything was very well organized, and looked great. We had a good welcome. Mónica from PNUD Colombia gave the opening. She has experience working on various projects with the women of AMURA and other groups of the Colombian Cauca. She is a very active and pleasant woman.

The socialization was a success. All the women are excited to start the project. In the Sprint project, 203 women from 13 different groups will participate.

While talking, Mr. Diego Bravo, representative of the Mayor of Almaguer, participated. He is a valuable support for this project. He has advanced knowledge of agriculture in this area, and he is very persuasive with the women of the association.

Additionally, we obtained a list of the species of trees and vegetables that would be planted with the Waterboxx® and the Growboxx® plant cocoon:

Waterboxx® plant cocoon Growboxx® plant cocoon
Fruits Vegetables
Moar Zanahoria
Tomate de árbol Acelga
Lulo Repollo
Aguacate Remolacha
Naranja Espinaca
Mango Tomate Milano
Grandilla Pepino
  Habichuela

Next Saturday, we will have a new meeting with the 13 groups to define the final species to plant in the Waterboxx®, the distances for visits, schedule of visits, etc.

All together WFP representatives of the mayor of Almaguer AMURA and Groasis

All together; members of the World Food Programme, representatives of the mayor of Almaguer, women of AMURA, and Groasis

Saturday, February 3rd

Today, we started with a meeting with the female leaders of AMURA, Diego Bravo, and our own team. During this meeting, we came to the following conclusions:

  • We've had a very good reception in Almaguer, with the women's group of AMURA. There are a lot of expectations, interest and desire to carry out the project;
  • Information sheets were filled out, to complement the data of the leaders and their groups: name of the sidewalks (they call sidewalks to the different areas of farms or country houses), distance between them, number of participants, names of participants, etc;
  • Questions were cleared regarding the Waterboxx® plant cocoon, so that they will not have any kind of concerns about the technology to be used in the project;
  • The numbers of Waterboxx® plant cocoon were established for each member of the groups, obtaining: 13 groups with 203 women participants - each woman will receive 5 Waterboxx® plant cocoons - total Waterboxx® plant cocoons to be delivered 1015 units;
  • The fruit tree species to be planted with the Waterboxx® plant cocoons were established, obtaining: Avocado (143) - lemon (308) – papaya (98) - passion fruit (273) – blackberry (208). Total 1030 plants;
  • We established the distance with which each tree will be planted, so that they prepare the land;
  • Emphasis was placed on the support and commitment we need from all the women in the groups;
  • In each place, there will be a plantation of 5 Waterboxx® plant cocoons for the demonstration.

Monday, February 5th

We have numbered all the Waterboxx® plant cocoons for the 13 groups, and made them ready to be used. We received a message from the WFP, indicating that we must keep safe and don't go outside, since there will be an armed strike. 

Monday and Tuesday, February 12 and 13

Since there was an armed strike (we have been in peace, only the bus service does not work), we were not able to carry out the activities that were scheduled for this week. The visits to the sidewalks have been modified, resulting in the following:

  • Monday 19th: Tarabita 1, Tarabita 2, El Elvecia, Gonzalo and Palizada
  • Tuesday 20th: Pitayas and Herradura
  • Wednesday 21th: Yunga, Altillo and Yacuanas Bajo
  • Thursday 22th: Hato Viejo and Gabrielas
  • Friday 23th: Ruíz

Wednesday, February 14

We have had a very busy day. Our trip started today at 4 am. We took the bus “Super Tambo” and went to Popayan. Popayan is a very big city, 5.30 hours far from Almaguer. It was a hot day, and certainly has a little smell like Guayaquil. We arrived to the bus station at 9.30 am and immediately went to the store. Over there, we met with Diego Bravo, who left Almaguer in a dump truck, provided by the mayor of Almaguer.

I bought the trees, got the invoice and the order to get the trees in the nursery. I bought the following species:

  • 143 avocados Hass
  • 308 lemon Tahiti
  • 98 papayas Tahino
  • 273 passion fruits
  • 208 blackberry Castilla

Total trees: 1.030 units

20180214 Avocado Hass

Avocado Hass - for more pictures of the saplings and the WFP project, please click here.

After this, at 1 p.m. we met with Mónica (PNUD Colombia), who invited us for lunch. She talked with us about an event next Tuesday 20th in La Herradura. It will be important, and the Groasis Project will be named in the event. Also, La Herradura is one of the places who is working with us in the Sprint project.

Around 2 p.m., we were in the nursery to take the trees with us. The nursery is very big and systematized. We visited the installations and we checked our trees. We placed the trees in the volqueta and left Popayan at 4 p.m. We were back in Almaguer at 9 p.m. It was a long day, but a good one!

Tuesday, February 15

We visited the place where we stored the trees. We recounted the plants and until Sunday, they will be watered. In the afternoon, we searched some mycorrhiza in the village. We chose for “Botón de oro” as mycorrhiza for the plantations.

Friday, February 16

From Monday 19 to Friday 23, we will carry out the plantations with the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology (with the Waterboxx®, the Growsafe and the mycorrhiza) at the sidewalks.

Starting with the plantation of the fruit trees in a water saving way 

Monday, February 19

This week we start the planting process at the project areas (veredas). We have programmed visiting 13 areas, with a total of 203 women members and 1015 Waterboxx® plant cocoons will be given. In total, we will plant 1030 fruit trees (140 avocados, 305 lemons, 95 papayas, 270 passion fruits, 205 blackberries and 3 control plants of each specie).

The area characteristics are almost the same in all the 13 areas:

  • Roads with large potholes and difficult access (landslides in many parts due to rains);
  • In the high hills, the weather is cold and there are strong winds;
  • In the down hills, it is very sunny and warm, mostly very hot;
  • Rainy season in all the places;
  • Planting sites are located on hillsides or in slopes, some of them are not easy to access;
  • There is a lack of water;
  • Clayey soil with difficulty to filter the water;
  • Corn crops and orchards of vegetables. Everywhere we can see crops of coca, it was the main activity of the farmers years ago. Now, those trees grow but they don’t work more with them, at least, they say that. 

20180219 1 Due to the heavy rainfall the Groasis and WFP members couldnt reach the plant sites for hours

The landsides, due to the heavy rainfall, the routes couldn't give any access for hours!

People are a little bit shy, but very kind with interest in the Groasis Technology. Everybody is very curious to know if the Waterboxx® will work in those places. We have decided to start the trip to the farthest place from Almaguer. Today we have 5 places to visit. It will be a long day! Our team will be represented by: Jeyson, Diego Bravo and Ana Terranova. The team of PMA will arrive today after midday, because they had to travel from Pasto.

Tarabita 2 is the first place to visit. It is in the downhill and it is very warm. Those people have a lot of problems with water normally, but the rainy season makes a difference. Tarabita 2 is to 9km far from Almaguer (normally it is a 1-hour drive, but now it takes 1hour 30 minutes due to the bad road). In Tarabita 2 we have 16 participants. We have planted 81 fruit trees: 41 avocados (40 in Waterboxx® and one without) and 40 lemons. See the numbers of the boxes here

Tarabita 1 is the biggest group of participants with 25 women. Tarabita 1 is 8 km far from Almaguer. The weather is hot and the soil is clayey. The holes were filled with water due to the rain and it was a difficult process to filtering for clayey soils. They have received 128 fruit trees: 46 lemons (45 in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 1 control plant) and 82 papayas (80 in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 2 control plants). See the numbers of the boxes here.

Elvecia was the 3th place visited. Elvecia has 13 beneficiaries and all of them received passion fruits (maracuya): 65 in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 1 control plant. See the numbers of the boxes here.

We decided to visit Palizada, before Gonzalo. In Palizada, there are 18 participants and they received 91 passion fruits: 90 in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 1 control plant. Here, we do not use the Growsafes, because plants are small (less than 20 cm high). They received the Growsafes and we will put them on from March. Here in Palizada, PMA´s team joined us. See the numbers of the boxes here.

Our last place was Gonzalo. But we were at 18 p.m. there. So, we decided to give the Waterboxx® plant cocoon and plants and come back next day. Gonzalo has 13 beneficiaries, 66 passion fruit trees: 65 in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 1 control plant. See the numbers of the boxes here.

Tuesday, February 20

We have returned to Gonzalo to implement the planting process with the Waterboxx® plant cocoons. In Gonzalo, they received 66 fruit trees: 65 passion fruits in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 1 control plant.

Pitayas is our next stop. Here are 21 participants: all of them received lemons, 105 in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 2 control plants. See the numbers of the boxes here.

Herradura was our last place to visit today. In Herradura, we have 10 participants. They received 50 passion fruits in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon. No control plants here. We were invited to an event of PNUD and ONU Mujeres. We were named there like Proyecto Groasis with PMA. 

Wednesday, February 21

Yunga is 7 km far from Almaguer. There are 16 participants, and we gave 81 trees: 45 avocados in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 1 control plant; and 35 lemons. See the numbers of the boxes here.

Altillo has 12 participants. They received 61 trees: 30 avocados in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 1 control plant and 30 lemons.

There are 10 participants in Yacuanas Bajo. They received 51 trees: 25 avocados and 1 control plant; and 25 lemons.

Thursday, February 22

20180222 2 People of Gabrielas with their first planted Waterboxx plant cocoon for the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator Zero Hunger by 2030 project S

The people of Gabriela with the first planted Waterboxx® plant cocoon in this area 

Gabriela was a little cold. There are 16 participants and they received: 81 trees (80 blackberries and 1 control plant). See the numbers of the boxes here.

In Hato Viejo, we only left the Waterboxx® plant cocoons and plants. Women were not organized and we agreed come back next Tuesday 27th. They are 21 beneficiaries: they received 105 blackberries and 1 control plant. See the numbers of the boxes here.

Friday, February 23

Ruiz is the smallest group with only 6 participants. The bad point here is the road. It is a real mess. They received 31 trees: 30 papayas in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon and 1 control plant.

Tuesday, February 27

Definitely, Hato Viejo is the most difficult place to visit. The planting site is 20 minutes far from the main road. I went up by a horse and my partners were walking. The place was very difficult access! But, in Hato Viejo we had a very good time. We had all the time to explain them, we took very nice photos, they were satisfied with the explanation.

First half of March

After a week of exhaustive planting (from February 19 to 27), we have kept a constant telephone monitoring with the leaders of the 13 sidewalks during the first half of March. The purpose of the monitoring was:

  • To keep in touch with the beneficiaries of the project;
  • Verify that the instructions given were captured and the recommendations made;
  • Elucidate any concerns or comments;• and thus obtain the best results in this program.

The month of March is a sacred month in Colombia with 15 days of general holidays (schools, high schools, public and private entities) due to Holy Week and the Minor Week. Thus, Colombia dedicates a large part of these days to Masses, processions and rites of the Catholic community. 

20180329 Participants of the Passion of Christ.

Participants of the Passion of Christ

First time monitoring of the plant areas

Despite the festivities, we have worked in the week of March 26 until April 2, carrying out the first monitoring of the results of the development of the trees and vegetables planted with the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology. A few days ago, I sent the first monitoring report Project Zero Hunger by 2030, I summarize activities carried out during this week:

Monday, March 26

AREA 1 – PITAYAS

The leader of this area is Jesucita. The group consists of 21 members, who received 105 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with Tahiti lemon. The property is square, approximately 40x40 meters, without trees, and only intended for the Waterboxx®. In the front, coffee crops are observed. The property is located on a slope of medium length. Current average weather is around 23°C, and it is rainy season.

Recommendations and/or observations in Pitayas:

  • Flatten the soil below the Waterboxx® on the slopes that are very inclined;
  • Perform clearing, planting throughout the farm to avoid the presence of pests;
  • Preventive fumigation against worms (alcohol, soap, chili);
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil. It is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • Use the Growsafe Telescoprotexx plant protector, in order to protect the lemon plants.

AREA 2 – HERRADURA 

The leader of this area is Erledy. The group consists of 10 members. In total, 51 passion fruits (50 in Waterboxx® + 1 control) were planted. The property is approximately 25 x 50 meters, and has the following tree species: guano, guava, ash, coffee. There is rain in this area. The current temperature is 24°C. The ground is not completely flat, it has certain inclinations.

20180326 Taking data in La herradura from the Waterboxx plant cocoon

Taking data in La Herradura

Recommendations and/or observations in Herradura:

  • Equalize the soil below the Waterboxx® as the slopes are very inclined;
  • Perform clearing, plating throughout the farm to avoid the presence of pests;
  • Preventive fumigation against worms (alcohol, soap, chili);
  • Do not fertilize at the moment, we have made a fertilization after sowing and in some boxes too much fertilizer is noticed;
  • In the case of the Maracuya, we conclude that Growsafe will not be used because it withers the leaves.

AREA 3 – RUIZ

It is the smallest group with 6 members and 30 Waterboxx® plant cocoons were delivered. The leaderof this area is Osvilda. The species they chose was papaya. The current temperature is 20°C and were are in a period of constant rain. The ground is flat, without greater inclinations.

Recommendations and/or observations in Ruíz:

  • Perform clearing, plating throughout the farm to avoid the presence of pests;
  • Make drainage to avoid floods, due to the presence of rains characteristic of the season;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of the Papaya, we conclude that Growsafe will not be used because it withers the leaves.

Tuesday, March 27

AREA 4 – YUNGA

The leader of this area is Ana María. In Yunga we have two species of fruit trees: avocado and lemon. There are 16 members with a total of 80 Waterboxx® plant cocoons, divided into two properties. The first estate (box number 436 to 470) is next to the road with slight inclinations and a dimension of approximately 16x25 meters. Here they have banana and corn cultivation. The second property is next to the school (box number 471 to 515) with a dimension of 1/2 hectare with medlars, mango trees and guabo. The temperature is 23°C, and it still rains in this area.

Recommendations and/or observations in Yunga:

  • Flatten the soil below the Waterboxx® plant cocoon on slopes that are very inclined;
  • Preventive fumigation against worms (alcohol, soap, chili);
  • Perform manual pruning to leaves that are in poor condition;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Avocado, we conclude that Growsafe will not be used because it withers the leaves;
  • In the case of Lemon, we recommend to use 2 Growsafes because those plants are big and growing very fast. They can use the Growsafes that were reserved for the Avocados.

AREA 5 – ALTILLO 

The leader of this area is Nery, there are 12 members who received 60 Waterboxx® plant cocoons and 61 small trees (30 avocado + 1 control group avocado + 30 lemons).They have a very well adapted property, with slight inclinations, of approximately 1/2 hectare with certain guava trees. Although there is still rain, the days are very sunny with a temperature of 25°C.

Recommendations and/or observations in Altillo:

  • Flatten the soil below the Waterboxx® plant cocoon on slopes that are very inclined;
  • Make drainage to avoid floods (specially in avocado), due to the presence of rains characteristic of the season;
  • Preventive fumigation against worms (alcohol, soap, chili);
  • Perform manual pruning to leaves that are in poor condition;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Avocado, we conclude that Growsafe will not be used because it withers the leaves;
  • In the case of lemon, we recommend to use 2 Growsafes because those plants are big and growing very fast. They can use the Avocado Growsafe.

AREA 6 – YACUANAS BAJO

The leader of this group is Ana Rubi, and the group consists of 10 members. There are 50 Waterboxx® plant cocoons delivered together with 51 small trees (24 avocados + 1 avocado control group + 26 Tahiti lemons). It is a very notorious group, since the first day of the socialization they have been very involved with the project. They have followed all our instructions and is the only group that, considering that their property is too steep (high hill) and with loose (slippery) ground, have placed protection fences against rains and other factors that affect the boxes and their saplings. The size of the property is approximately 20x100 meters. It has a few trees, which serve as a shade before the inclement sun. The weather is very warm - 28°C - and rain are already scarce. They have planted 3.5 pounds of peanuts to nourish the soil and take advantage of the space of the place.

Recommendations and/or observations in Yacuanas Bajo:

  • Preventive fumigation;
  • Perform manual pruning to leaves that are in poor condition;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Avocado, we conclude that Growsafe will not be used because it withers the leaves;
  • In the case of Lemon, we recommend to use 2 Growsafes because those plants are big and growing very fast. They can use the Avocado Growsafe. Panoramic view from below of the site in Yacuanas Bajo, the small seedlings that are observed are peanuts.

Wednesday, March 28

AREA 7 – ELVECIA

The leader is of this area is Aurelia. The terrain is approximately 30x40 meters, flat without inclinations. It is a land with corn cultivation. There is a lot of sun, it is hot and there is little rain. There are 13 members with 66 maracuya trees (65 in a Waterboxx® plant cocoon + 1 control group).

Recommendations and/or observations in Elvecia:

  • Preventive fumigation (garlic+chili+onion) three times per week;
  • Perform manual pruning to leaves that are in poor condition;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Passion fruit, we recommend not use the Growsafe because the leaves are squeezed and shrivel;
  • Passion fruits need tutor because those plants need to grow right and up.

AREA 8 – GONZALO 

The leader of this area is Sandra, with a group of 13 members. 65 Waterboxx® plant cocoons and 66 seedlings have been delivered (65 + 1 control group). The property is inclined, approximately 100x50 meters with corn cultivation and native trees such as pendo and coal that provides shade and will serve as a tutor for maracuya. Additionally, they have planted 20 pounds of peanuts (2 seeds) to nourish the soil and take advantage of spaces between Waterboxx® plant cocoons.

Recommendations and/or observations in Gonzalo:

  • Flatten the soil below the Waterboxx® plant cocoon on slopes that are very inclined;
  • Make drainage to avoid floods, due to the presence of rains characteristic of the season because there are flooded plants and this prevents them from growing and developing;
  • Small plants present buds;
  • Preventive fumigation (garlic+chili+onion), three times per week;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree. Place 100 gr of compost directly to the plant;
  • In the case of Passion fruit, we recommend not  use  the Growsafe because the leaves are squeezed and yellow;
  • Clean the white caps.

AREA 9 – PALIZADA

The leader of this area is Hermilda. The property is next to the road and is flat, with a dimension of 10x90 meters approximately. There are orange trees to provide shade. The group is made up of 18 members. In total, there are 90 Waterboxx® plant cocoons, and 91 Passion fruit seedlings (1 control group) were delivered.

Recommendations and/or observations in Palizada:

  • Preventive fumigation (garlic+chili+onion), three times per week;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Passion fruit, we recommend not use the Growsafe because the leaves are squeezed and yellow;
  • Passion fruits need a tutor because those plants need to grow up and right.

Thursday, March 29

AREA 10 – TARABITA 1

We find the news that Tarabita 1 have new leader. This is Sandra, who has been very committed to the project. In Tarabita 1 there are 25 members, divided into two properties: The first property is next to the road and is 90% flat, small inclinations. Here, Waterboxx® plant cocoons with the numbers 1 - 50  have been planted with Tahiti lemon trees. In addition, there is a lemon control group Tahiti. Total 51 trees of lemon Tahiti. On this property, a deteriorated Milano tomato crop was found. It was very hot day, with a temperature higher than 26°C.

Recommendations and/or observations in Tarabita 1 – first property:

  • Preventive fumigation (garlic+chili+onion);
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Lemon, we recommend to use 2 Growsafes because those plants are big and growing very fast.

The second property is one of the places with the highest number of pests (crickets, slugs, butterfly worm, toad, scorpions, ants) that I have observed in all the sidewalks. This is because the farm has corn and chickpea that are very attractive crops for pests. This second group is made up of 16 participants. They have received 80 Waterboxx® plant cocoonsand are divided into: 3 Avocados, 21 Lemons, 56 Papayas. Additional, they have 2 Papaya Control groups.

Recommendations and/or observations in Tarabita 1 – second property:

  • Perform clearing, plating throughout the farm to avoid the presence of pests;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Lemon, we recommend to use 2 Growsafes because those plants are big and growing very fast. They can use the Growsafes of papayas;
  • In the case of the Papaya and Avocado, we conclude that Growsafe will not be used because it withers the leaves. 

AREA 11 – TARABITA 2

The leader of this group is Daris. This group has 16 participants. In total, 80 Waterboxx® plant cocoons have been delivered with 81 seedlings: 40 lemons + 40 avocados + 1 avocado control. The property is very steep, which prevents access for those who are not used to walking these hillsides. There is rain, humidity, and the temperature lies around 24 ° C.

Recommendations and/or observations in Tarabita 2:

  • Perform manual pruning to leaves that are in poor condition;
  • Preventive fumigation;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Lemon, we recommend to use 2 Growsafes because those plants are big and growing very fast. They can use the Growsafes of Avocados;
  • In the case of Avocado, we conclude that Growsafe will not be used because it withers the leaves.

Monday, April 2

AREA 12 – HATO VIEJO

Hato Viejo is one of the places with the most difficult access. After an hour and half by car, we must walk approximately 35 minutes to reach the top of the mountain where the little school is located, and where the Blackberry trees were planted. Hato Viejo is part of the Indigenous Reservation of Caquiona, an autochthonous village and Yanacona, proud of its roots. The leader of Hato is Adela, and they have 21 participants. 105 Waterboxx® plant cocons and 106 plants of Mora Castilla have been delivered. The rainy season will be present until June, with temperatures below 10 ° C. The property has an approximate dimension of 100x100 meters and with slight inclinations.

Recommendations and/or observations in Hato Viejo:

  • Flatten the soil below the Waterboxx® plant cocoons on slopes that are very inclined;
  • Make drainage to avoid floods, due to the presence of rains characteristic of the season;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • In the case of Mora, we recommend to use Growsafe because those plants need a lot of protection of water.

20180402 Panoramic view of the property in Hato Viejo

View of the property in Hato Viejo

AREA 13 – GABRIELAS

In Gabrielas there are 16 beneficiaries divided into two groups. The first group is 10 minutes from the main road. It is a very steep property, where there is a corn crop. The ground is very inclined, and has an approximate dimension of 10x15 meters. The rainy season is present and the temperature drops to 12°C. The second group is a slightly inclined property of the same dimensions as the previous one. There are no trees. Excess rainfall of the season and temperatures between 12 and 13°C. They have received 80 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with mulberry trees Castilla. Additional, a control group.

Recommendations and/or observations in Gabrielas – both groups:

  • Flatten the soil below the Waterboxx® plant cocoon on slopes that are very inclined;
  • Perform clearing, plating throughout the farm to avoid the presence of pests;
  • Make drainage to avoid floods, due to the presence of rains characteristic of the season;
  • Preventive fumigation against the cricket;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • Position the white cap well inside the grooves, because it crushes the stem;
  • In the case of Mora, we recommend to use Growsafe because those plants need a lot of protection of water.

April 2 to 10

After the first monitoring, we summarize that Aguacate, Limón Tahiti, Papaya and Maracuyá grow and develop perfectly, fulfilling each of the characteristics of the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon. We maintain communication via telephone with the leaders. There will be a replanting of Mora Castilla in both Gabriela and Hato Viejo. Therefore, I will travel to Popayan for the acquisition of the seedlings. In the same way, in the first monitoring, a certain number of Waterboxx® plant cocoons presented damages, so during this week, we have returned the Waterboxxes.

Tuesday, April 10

We started the reseeding in Hato Viejo. The beneficiaries awaited us anxiously. The land was ready, they had made all the recommendations given: to equalize the land, cleanliness, especially drainage due to the continuous presence of rain. Once finished, we went to the two properties that correspond to Gabriela. The interest to stay in the project maintained in the groups. We count that with all the recommendations given, there are no problems with the Mora Castilla in these sidewalks. A second monitoring was carried out from April 23 to 27, 2018. These will be published soon!

Second time monitoring of the plant areas

Monday, April 23

AREA 1 – PITAYAS

This group has planted 105 Waterboxx® plant cocoons + 2 control groups = 107 Tahiti lemon trees. The general water saving is 99%. The general mortality is 0%. The control group is in good condition.

Recommendations and/or observations in Pitayas:

  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • Manual pruning of leaves.

AREA 2 – HERRADURA

This group has planted 50 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with passion fruits + 1 control group. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality of plants with the Waterboxx® is 0%. The control group has no leaves and is withered.

Recommendations and/or observations in Herradura:

  • Prune trees from the ground, to obtain luminosity (rays of the sun).
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree.

AREA 3 – RUIZ

This group has planted 30 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with papayas + 1 control group. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality of the plants in the Waterboxxes is 17% (5 papayas died). The control group is withered and has no leaves since the first monitoring. 

Recommendations and/or observations in Ruíz:

  • Perform clearing, planting throughout the farm to avoid the presence of pests;
  • Make drainage to avoid floods, due to the presence of rain characteristic of the season;
  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree;
  • Although no fertilizer has been used since sowing, in the cultivation of papaya there is a very significant growth in 90% of the seedlings. For this reason, it is necessary to remove the Waterboxx® because the papayas are already reaching the stem thickness and the plant cup that could be affected by the little space inside the box. 

Sandra Quinonez leader of Tarabita 1 with her papaya 20180426

Sandra, leader of Tarabita 1 with her planted papaya, in Ruíz

Tuesday, April 24

AREA 4 – YUNGA

The first property is next to the road, the second property is next to the school with a dimension of 1/2 hectare with medlars, mango trees and guabo. This group has planted 80 Waterboxx® plant cocons in total with avocados and lemons + 1 control group. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality of plants in the Waterboxxes is 0%. The control group is in good condition.

Recommendations and/or observations in Yunga:

  • The beneficiaries of Yunga, considered the recommendations given in the first monitoring: they carried out fertilization and fumigation, for which it does not present difficulty with pests or diseases;
  • As the only recommendation in this second control visit: pruning of trees near the land is requested in order to allow light to enter the plants;
  • Remove the Growsafes of the lemons due to the opaqueness of their leaves and for the proper development of secondary branches that benefit their process of photosynthesis.

AREA 5 – ALTILLO

This group has planted 60 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with avocados and lemons + 1 control group of avocado. The general water saving is 99%. The general mortality is 2% (1 avocado died). The control group of avocado is in good condition.

Recommendations and/or observations in Altillo:

  • The Altillo group is one of the most dedicated and fulfilled. They made all the recommendations given in the first monitoring: the plants were fertilized for the second time with cuyinase, fumigated with garlic and chili pepper and located the Waterboxx® that were in poor condition;
  • As a single recommendation: place the Growsafe in the lemons to tutor them and benefit their vertical growth;
  • Some avocados present fall of their leaves, due to the drastic change of temperature where the women indicate totally sunny day and sudden precipitations. These plants present bud of their leaves without slowing their growth.

AREA 6 – YACUANAS BAJO

This group has planted 50 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with avocados and lemons + 1 control group of avocado. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality is 0%. The control group of avocado, is in good condition.

Recommendations and/or observations in Yacuanas Bajo:

  • The Yacuanas group carried out all the recommendations given in the first monitoring;
  • Only, it is suggested that the lemons be pruned and the ground cleaned to avoid pests and weeds.

Wednesday, April 25

AREA 7 – ELVECIA

This group has planted 65 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with passion fruits + 1 control group. The general water saving: 100%. The general mortality is 0%. The control group is in good condition. But, 3 passion fruit plants have mysteriously disappeared: # 271, 273, 275 of Angélica.

Recommendations and/or observations in Elvecia:

  • The Elvecia group has made all the recommendations given in the first monitoring: cleaning terrain, fumigation and fertilization;
  • However, there is still a presence of a loggerworm, so it is necessary to fumigate at least two more times, for total control.

AREA 8 – GONZALO

This group has planted 65 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with passion fruits + 1 control group. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality is 0%. The control group is still small.

Recommendations and/or observations in Gonzalo:

  • The cultivation of maracuya in Gonzalo is the most developed, without problems of pests or diseases and with good fertilization. The positions for the tutorado are already carried out and they only have pending the acquisition of the wire for its installation in maximum 15 days according to the height of the plant;
  • It is recommended to remove the Waterboxx® for a new sowing of fruit trees.

AREA 9 – PALIZADA

This group has planted 90 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with passion fruits + 1 control group. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality is 0%. The control group is in good condition.

Recommendations and/or observations in Palizada:

  • The Palizada group has made all the recommendations given in the first monitoring: fumigation and fertilization, so the crop presents new leaves, significant growth and fertilization;
  • The only thing that is stressed is: they must make postures for the tutor of passion fruits.

Thursday, April 26

AREA 10 – TARABITA 1

Tarabita 1 is divided into two properties: the first property is next to the road and is 90% flat, small inclinations. Waterboxxes #1 - 50 are planted here with Tahiti lemon trees. In addition, there is a lemon control group Tahiti. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality is 0%. The control group is in good condition.

Recommendations and/or observations in Tarabita 1 – first property:

  • In Tarabita 1 group 1, all the recommendations given in the first monitoring were made: plating in the area, fumigation, no presence of pests and diseases, and fertilization;
  • The improvement is evident, compared to the first visit made.

The second group has received 80 Waterboxx® plant cocoons, divided into: 3 avocados, 21 lemons, 56 papayas. Additional, they have 2 papaya Control group. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality is 6% (5 papayas). The control groups are small and withered.

Recommendations and/or observations in Tarabita 1 – second property:

  • In the second group of Tarabita 1, cleaning or silting of the area is recommended;
  • Finish the fertilization;
  • There is no presence of pests or diseases;
  • 5 papaya seedlings are dead;
  • The rest of the plantation presents good condition and new leaves.

AREA 11 – TARABITA 2

This group has planted 80 Waterboxx® plant cocoons with 40 Lemon Tahiti + 41 Avocados (1 control group). The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality is 1% (1 avocado). The control group is small and withered.

Recommendations and/or observations in Tarabita 2:

  • In the Tarabita 2 group, the incidence of the loggerworm was evidenced, for which a new fumigation is necessary for the control (preventive);
  • Seedlings present new leaves;
  • Fertilization is necessary, as indicated in the first monitoring.

Group of Tarabita in the Second monitoring 20180426

The group of Tarabita during the second monitoring

Friday, April 27

This group has planted 105 Waterboxx® plant cocoons and 106 plants of Mora Castilla were delivered. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality of plants is 12% (13 plants). The control group is dead. This group had overseeding of 95 blackberry seedlings on April 10.

Recommendations and/or observations in Hato Viejo:

  • Fertilization, with the aim of improving the soil, it is necessary to add substrate or any type of fertilizer available in the area and thus provide greater water retention, permeability and good drainage for the tree (recommendation given from the first monitoring);
  • The seedlings have leaf fall, however they already present new shoots and the green stem, which it is strengthening with the application of urea to contribute to the rapid presence of new leaves (plant in germination);
  • High temperatures on the site and lack of rains;
  • In this crop there is a mortality of 13 seedlings.

AREA 13 – GABRIELAS

Gabrielas has been divided into two groups. The first group is 10 minutes from the main road. The second group is a slightly inclined property. In total, 80 Waterboxx® plant cocoons have been planted with Mora Castilla + 1 control group. The general water saving is 100%. The general mortality is 10% (8 plants). The control group was the first to disappear. This group had overseeding of 47 blackberry seedlings on April 10.

Recommendations and/or observations in Gabrielas – both groups:

  • The group of Gabrielas needs to carry out the fertilization recommended in the first monitoring;
  • Seedlings with buds and new leaves;
  • There are 10 dead seedlings.

How can we achieve better fruit tree planting results? 

Below are the general comments so far, it is a summary of the second observations that are listed above.

  • With the exception of the blackberries of Hato Viejo and Gabrielas, the development of the other species is within the established parameters;
  • We continue to perform monthly personalized monitoring and weekly phone calls, especially with Hato and Gabrielas;
  • We have very committed and responsible groups. But likewise, we have others to whom we must constantly "follow up", so that they comply with all the recommendations;
  • Currently, the rains are scarce, and the days are very sunny and hot giving way to the summer of the area;
  • The saving in water consumption is 100;
  • We have a general mortality of 3%;
  • The plants that are without leaves already have new shoots;
  • The Growsafes have been removed in their entirety, in all species, claiming that their presence withered or yellowish leaves;
  • In some sidewalks, it is necessary the descope or pruning of the trees so that between luminosity in the cultures as well as a pair of fumigations more to control to the 100% the presence of crickets or worms cutters;
  • Lemons mostly need training pruning, to fortify the plants;
  • In Elvecia, there are 3 missing plants. Interestingly, they correspond to the same beneficiary.

Two important topics, Remove of the Waterboxx® plant cocoon:

  • Remove of Waterboxx®: because of the growth stimulance that the Waterboxx® is giving, in the sidewalks the maracuya and the papayas are already in tutoring time, it is necessary to remove the Waterboxx®;
  • Must coordinate with each leader, the removal of the boxes, which must be cleaned and disinfected to make a new sowing of fruit trees;
  • The Waterboxx® will be reused as well as the anti-evaporation plate. Only the wick is going to be discarded. I have wicks in Almaguer's room, so we can do the reinstallment of wicks without problem;
  • Once cleaned, they are stacked and kept in a warehouse (which can be in the house of their leaders, so they do not get lost) until we coordinate the new sowing;
  • The objective of this is: to prove that the Waterboxx® is reusable in fruit trees twice a year, and to demonstrate the advantages of Technology both in the rainy season and in the dry season;
  • There are several ways of protecting the tree after removing the Waterboxx®. We start with the most preferable way to the least preferable way;
  • By taking out the Waterboxx®, beneficiaries can do any of the following steps so that the plant is protected and not dehydrated;
  • When taking out the Waterboxx®, 5 centimeters of old manure is placed (because new manure has salt), then straw and the plant is surrounded with stones;
  • When taking out the Waterboxx®, 5 centimeters of old manure is placed (because new manure has salt), then straw and on this 10 centimeters of earth;
  • When removing the Waterboxx®, 5 centimeters of old manure is placed (because new fertilizer has salt), then straw and on this 10 centimeters of vegetative material;
  • In all cases the plant must be fertilized. The beneficiaries decide which option they prefer.

Fertalization: 

  • It is necessary to insist with the fertilization of the plants, to accelerate their growth and development. However, the paths do it empirically and we do not have the results we want;
  • For this reason, Jeyson Castaño plans to carry out training and general practice of organic fertilizers where the beneficiaries will provide natural materials from their farms such as litter, earth, dung (guinea pig, rabbit, cattle, horses), crop residues (coffee or corn) and ash, in order to make bocashi fertilizer;
  • This will be a great support for the participants and there would be a knowledge for future projects in favor of our field.