XpBonaire Island Life Feature Story
In many press releases, you have read about the intention and plan to stimulate agriculture and farming on Bonaire. Research has shown that there is enough demand and enthusiasm on the island to do this. The plan and goal is to make the island less dependent on imports which, in many cases, are not the best quality and overpriced. The research also shows that when requirements are met, up to 40% of the demand for meats, eggs, vegetables and fruits could be produced on the island.
What's the Problem?
One of the major bottlenecks for success in developing agriculture on Bonaire is the lack of water.
- Most farm areas are not connected to the water and electricity network and depend on truck delivered water and generators.
- The grey water produced on the island cannot be used for animals or vegetables.
- The old dams on the island that used to collect water are poorly maintained and the basins don’t hold enough water to solve the problem.
- Drinking water is too expensive to water plants and animals and succeed as a business.
- At the moment, delivery is not reliable and with continuous delivery problems, no farmer is ensured of enough water.
The new cooperative, Punta Agua, is working hard to solve this problem in the near future.
2 of the Board members, Nadine and Onnie Emerenciana are from a farm family that has been on Bonaire for many generations. With their successful local company, Punta Blancu, the family has produced fresh eggs on the island for over 40 years and keeps goats and grows vegetables. Recently, they have been in the spotlight again by meeting the newest hygiene standards and were praised for it by the island government. Nadine, as a farmer, faces the challenges every day and has been working on the cooperative, Punta Agua, for the last two years.
Subsidies & Innovation
In 2017, the BIC Award (Business, Innovation and Creativity), an initiative of the European Union, was awarded to Bonaire. The winning innovation, “the Fresh Water Mill”, by Mr. Willem van Hees is a reverse osmosis plant that converts salt water into fresh water.
Punta Agua, in cooperation with Saltech, a member of the European Water Alliance, have applied for subsidies to complete this innovative project, a wind and solar energy water plant, specifically developed to withstand the harsh conditions of sun and salt on Bonaire. They are awaiting the results which come in the beginning of 2019.
Punta Agua surveys have shown that at least 250 small farmers are in need of a solution to their water problem. Many more are interested in developing a business in agriculture or farming when the water problem is solved.
The Cooperative board has been working on various options so that in the event that the subsidies are not awarded to Punta Agua, the project will still be completed.
Be part of the Cooperative
Of course, not everything can be produced on the island, but chickens, pigs, goats and many fruits and vegetables can. The cooperative, Punta Agua, is currently in talks with Kriabon, the farmers’ cooperative on the island, to work closely together in the future.
The reverse osmosis plant will be situated in the kunuku surrounding Punta Blanku in Lagun.
You can sign up with Punta Agua, not only work on the solution to the biggest problem, but also to help and assist each other to create successful agriculture and farming on Bonaire.
In case you don’t want to perspire, or are a farmer, and would like to be part of an innovative project on the island, you can become a financier of the cooperative.
Hobby farmers can also benefit from Punta Agua with more affordable water and the know-how of local farmers and members of the cooperative.
We will keep you updated on the developments. In case you would like to know more, please contact Punta Agua. See below:
Phone: +599 777 5011
+599 796 6664