Servicios Ecoforestales para Agricultores
Servicios Ecoforestales para Agricultores (SEPA) is an agroforestry demonstration farm in Novireta, Eastern Paraguay, started by ten former Peace Corps volunteers in 1997. It was founded to address the needs of the many poor rural farmers whose ability to grow traditional subsistence food crops had been severely reduced as a result of deforestation, erosion, and intensive farming methods.
In its first year, the project's Executive Director was able to secure a land grant and multi-year seed funding, which enabled the development of the farm including the construction of classrooms, a kitchen, and dormitories.
The farm promotes low-risk, low-cost methods of improving soil quality via reforestation and natural farming methods. It is run entirely by Paraguayan extensionist farmers, or tecnicos, from rural communities similar to Novireta, who are paid. In addition to providing regional education, SEPA is considered a model for Paraguayan rural sustainability and is studied by farmers, agronomists, and students.
- Journal Reports of Participants in Paraguay Agroforestry Project. North Carolina State University.