Peruvian vanilla grower Ashley Britton has launched a project to bring vanilla production to the Peruvian Amazon to benefit the indigenous Awajun people.
Vanilla pompona has been wildcrafted in this part of the Amazon for a long time for local use, but with global demand for real vanilla growing, this is a good time to establish vanilla pompona as an export product. The region suffered a setback in its ability to provide a cash income when the cacao was rejected for too high a cadmium content. Ashley hopes that vanilla, specifically vanilla extract, can supplant the lost cacao income.
A Kistarter Campaign is Launched
Ashley has started a Kickstarter campaign, The Amazon Vanilla Project in order to raise funds for a small production facility and to provide education on how to grow and produce vanilla for making into extract. The extract would then become an export product.
I encourage you to take a look at the campaign, if successful, it would be a good opportunity establish a sustainable agricultural product for the region, giving local people an incentive to protect the forest.