The Cooperative’s work will have a very positive environmental and social impact :
Production sustainability: even though prickly pears are one of the most significant and emerging wild plants with a significant number of producers, selling the whole production has been challenging due to the lack of scale of each individual producer. With promoters owning on average a land of around 1,5ha, they lack the financial capacity to buy the necessary equipment to prepare the fruit to be sold. With the cooperative’s creation, the bought equipment will be shared by everyone, hence increasing the quantity of fruit sold.
Increased cultivation area, and better quality of the products: with the support of the cooperative, the revenue from all the cooperators will increase, allowing them to increase the cultivation area. Additionally, all the promoters can learn from each other, guaranteeing the products quality and the production’s sustainability.
Valuation of the local production and positive economic impact on the region: the cooperative operation is in Vale do Poço, a small village with only 50 inhabitants in the interior of Alentejo. By benefiting the local commerce and restaurants, the cooperative will be able to attract more people to a region that suffers from desertification, having a positive economic impact on the region.
More jobs: in a region where agriculture is the main activity, by increasing production and revenue, more jobs will be made available contributing to reducing the interior desertification.
The Cooperative Opuntias Alentejo was founded in 2019 with the goal of fomenting agriculture and livestock in Serpa, with a special focus on the cultivation, transformation, and trade of prickly pears and its derivatives – palms and flowers.
This investment will be used to buy essential equipment for the Cooperative’s operation and for the launch of the first prickly pear marketing and trade campaign, happening soon. Therefore, the money will be used in the following:
Acquisition of a refrigerator, for the fruits conservation, until they are distributed;
Acquisition of scales and lifts;
Acquisition of packaging, crates, and other equipment, necessary for transportation.
The revenue obtained with this campaign will be used to pay for the loan instalments. During the first year, the promoter predicts to sell the whole production, about 20 tons of fruit.
Payments Status: On time