Rubén Perfecto Rugama: Enterprise, responsibility and ecology
“La Simbolica”, the smallholding where Ruben and his family live, is, without doubt, a miniature paradise. “[It is] a symbol of the wonders which await us after this life,” are Ruben’s words ,when he recalls with pride how he felt when his father left him the land.
One of 16 siblings, Ruben is above all an example of enterprise, responsibility and ecology. From cacao to bamboo and coffee, Ruben not only cultivates, he experiments, observes, learns, and improves. As a result, 10 years after having inherited two plots completely degraded by grazing, he now has a varied and beautiful plantation.
Ruben, together with his daughter, Erika, will be one of the observing producers who will lead the Adapt Project. He has a cacao plantation of six different varieties in the El Cua area of the Province of Jinotega. Climate change is nothing new to him. “In 2011, summer arrived early, I had to water the plants and I had a 20% loss. Then we had an attack of June beetles (Phyllophaga), and we had to try to get rid of them. It was difficult, but we managed to save 80% of the plantation.”
The effects of climate change bring new variable which the producers cannot control. Therefore, Ruben has decided to participate in the Adapt Project . “This project will directly benefit not only my family, but the whole town. With the weather stations, we will have a clear perspective of which crops will be seen to be most affected and how. The empirical and technological knowledge which the project gives us will enable us to predict what each year will be like and tailor our needs as they grow with the climatic problems which come our way.”
Thanks to the Adapta Project, Ruben has a weather station installed on his farm. Every day, he will go and collect data such as the amount of rainfall, the air and soil temperatures, and humidity levels. At the same time, he will collect data about the condition of his cacao plantations: flowering, growth….
Project workers collect and analyse this daily data, which, together with the weather forecast and phenological studies completed by the Adapt Project, will allow Ruben to take more informed decisions about how to proceed with his farming practice and to anticipate possible losses. in this way he will increase his production and see the benefits.
3 times a month, Ruben is receiving a weather bulletin which allows him to know that the weather will be like for the next 10 days, and what consequences it could have on his crops. In addition, over the course of the 4 years, Ruben will receive continuous training on data analysis, crop improvement techniques, and finally, sufficient business management. It is hoped that at the end of the 4 years, Ruben will have improved his production and may increase his income by 2.5%.
Follow us to find out how he goes about achieving this.