Each case is unique and provides it’s own challenges and opportunities. Here follow three examples to give you a taste.
ex. 1: Anna-Maria is 28, graduated from the agricultural university with a masters in horticulture in Cluj-Napoca and wants to start a CSA (community supported agriculture) box-scheme farm around Cluj. She has a business plan and knowledge, though no farm and no land. Anna-Maria comes to ALPA with the request to help her. Anna-Maria knows of a farm with 1 ha of land for sale in a village, she feels she wants to live in. She has no financial resources. Together with ALPA she starts to look for donations. Anna-Maria finds friends, relatives, neighbours, future clients, who all are willing to donate money to ALPA. ALPA receives the money and adds it to the budget for this particular farm. ALPA fills the gap for the remaining costs of the farm, payed for by the donations ALPA gets from it’s various donors (private, governmental, organisational, other channels). The farm and land will be owned by ALPA and managed by Anna-Maria. Anna-Maria pays a lease to ALPA and agrees to farm according agroe-cological principles.
ex. 2: Ady is 37 and has a free-range pig farm. He has 8 mother pigs and fattens around 100 piglets each year. Till now he was forced to buy all the food for his animals, which makes his business not very profitable, The food he bought was also not organically grown, which makes the meat of his pigs not organic. He would like his farm to become an organic and closed, self-sufficient system. Ady needs land which is required to grow the cereals and corn, needed to feed his pigs. Ady’s neighbour retires as a farmer and wants to sell his 5 hectares of land. Ady is eager to buy this land, though cannot afford it. Ady comes to ALPA and asks for help. ALPA and Ady together find donors who believe in the work of Ady and the mission of ALPA. ALPA buys the land, Ady leases and grows his business. His 100 organically and free ranged pigs are a needed and responsible substitute for 100 conventional factory farm raised pigs. His agroecological care for 5 hectares of agricultural land are a needed and responsible substitute for 5 hectares of conventionally (chemical) farmed land.
ex. 3: Leon is 30 years old and wants to take over the goat farm of his retiring father. Leon’s father has 60 milk goats, makes cheese of their milk, which he sells on the local market. Leon wants to increase the heard to 150 goats, to be able to make enough cheese to make his business economically viable. For this increase of animals, he needs access to more land. Leon comes to ALPA to discuss the matter. ALPA and Leon together study the situation and find out that 30 hectares of the communities common land are not used, as well as 10 hectares of several private owners. ALPA and Leon talk with these owners and the local municipality and arrange contracts for the sustainable use of these lands. Leon can increase his heard, he uses holistic grazing management techniques and sells his cheeses not only on the local market, though also to an organic food cooperative and an organic pizza restaurant in a nearby town as well as to a growing number of regular aware private customers.