A Most Innovative Approach to Combine Tourism and Agriculture Development
It was at a recent consultation spearheaded by the Dominica Eco-Tourism Assn on fostering "more collaboration between the Agriculture, Tourism and Conservation sectors" that this GREAT concept was circulated to some of the participants, It involves an approach called SHARE – an acronym for Share - Hospitality - Agriculture and Real Estate.
SHARE is literally about.... sharing the livelihoods of willing local Dominican farmers and those foreign investors (in harmony) willing to make the Nature Island of the Caribbean their second home.
The basic idea: Interested Farmers sell their land at today's market price to foreign investors (a welcome cash in their hand!) BUT can continue to harvest it in exchange for maintaining the land clean and nice, OR young Dominicans can be given the opportunity to get concessions from the Project Developer on these lands for farming. The PD approves the farmers, the land and crops, finds investors, provide the infrastructure, logistics, marketing and distribution on island and overseas. The PD (of an ongoing project) also partners with another renewal energy company to provide electricity and water even to remote lands thanks to its expertise in low-cost sustainable energy installations. Importantly, the PD manages the whole operation in close cooperation with the Government of Dominica's relevant departments: Agriculture, Lands & Survey, Invest & Discover Dominica, Planning Division, Trade and Employment, etc….. It is truly a win/win scenario!
Next week, we look at the specific benefits that flow from the SHARE programme as actually introduced by one "thinking-outside-the-box" investor who follows a "limited risk" model in by-passing the bank loan system and financing the project mainly through third-party real estate investments.