Solution Overview

Solution Name:

Corpocampo Sustainable Superfoods

One-line solution summary:

Regeneration and conservation of Amazonian ecosystems through sustainable agroforestry and wild açaí harvesting systems.

Pitch your solution.

Superfoods are known to be edible products that provide higher nutritional inputs that average food products. For this reason, under a cost and benefit perspective its production and consumption make them naturally more efficient than conventional food sources. This trait sets emerging Amazonian superfood markets as a great opportunity for sustainable development of the populated parts of this region.

Corpocampo is an NGO established since 2003. We are dedicated to the production and commercialization of amazon superfoods, especially açai berry and palm heart. This way we offer an economic alternative to improve the income of local communities, while reforesting fields that have resulted from livestock economies or illegal coca plantations.

By developing a Geographic Information System we aim to improve the efficiency of Amazon's superfood value chain, monitor and analyze local dynamics around deforestation activity, and help to understand and adapt better to climate change.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

The lack of economic opportunities in the Amazon is the main factor that promotes deforestation. In 2019, 98.256 hectares of primary forest were chopped down in the Colombian Amazon. The principal drivers of deforestation where livestock economy, illegal coca crops and timber extraction.

Local livelihoods require economic alternatives that, on the one hand, aim to sustain their material needs and, on the other, meet a sustainable relation with ecosystems. Addressing this challenge, our projects have benefited 300 smallholders in the Colombian Amazon, reforesting more than 300 hectares through agroforestry models based on native species. Also, through Sustainable Forest Management Plans to harvest wild açai berry, we have established conservation agreements over more than 4,000 hectares of rainforest. The goal is to expand the scope of impact for at least 600 more families and 5,000 additional hectares.

Nevertheless, climate change has affected the rain seasons and altered harvesting cycles. Additionally, as road are in precarious state and communities are distanced from the market centres, it is important to optimize efficiency.

What is your solution?

Mapping the variables of the amazon superfood value chain helps to be more efficient by monitoring and accurately managing different activities and resources. It is facilitating agricultural development and optimizing business costs.

Pressio mapping of geographic and geologic features of the crops and of forest´s wild açai palms are enabling Corpocampo to create more effective and efficient production and commercialization.

Farmers can take more corrective actions in the form of better utilization of organic fertilizers and treatment of crop diseases, ensuring more and higher quality production with lower production costs. By reducing spending on inputs we intend to improve household’s expenditure and therefore optimize their finances.

Additionally, better coordination in harvesting and transportation activities optimizes logistics costs and improves profitability throughout the value chain, which means a downstream effect of the profit.      

Corpocampo´s extension workers periodically visit farmers and communities of collector to register field data that continuously feed the GIS. 

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

The Amazon demands innovation that ensures better productivity and profitability, so that the local people can commit with sustainability and conservation. Coca crops and other illegal activities offer high profit and has found shelter in the dense forests. Therefore, Corpocampo is betting to address this challenging quest by resorting to efficiency and adaptation. 

We have developed a Geographic Information System to monitor and manage the knowledge around the local dynamics, regarding productivity and environmental dynamics. This tool will help local communities to optimize agronomic practices, oversee climate fluctuation, access more just market, increase their productivity and conserve the forest. 

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Provide scalable and verifiable monitoring and data collection to track ecosystem conditions, such as biodiversity, carbon stocks, or productivity.

Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

We are creating a sustainable market in populated areas of the Amazon, one of the most conserved ecosystem of the world, but endangered.  By supporting smallholders and indigenous communities to establishing sustainable agroforestry models, based on native fruit trees, we help to restore degraded soil and capture more C02 in deforested areas of the Amazon.

Sustainable forestery use and agroforestery models aims to leverage local livelihood conditions through financial improvement and without the need to expand the agricultural frontier.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Bogotá, Colombia

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

We are testing the Geographic Information System with 300 farmers, with 300 hectares of agroforestry systems. In the case of the wild acai palm harvest, we have overflight and register geographic images with drones of 2,000 hectares of forest with dense areas of acai palms. Corpocampo is still working to refine the methodology for data collection and analysis.

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community.

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Joaquin Gastelbondo, Project Manager.

More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

What makes your solution innovative?

Our solution aims to strengthen the idea that the market can contribute to the conservation of ecosystems in a profitable way. Colombia and other nations where biological hot spots are found need to develop sustainable markets to allow their communities to improve living conditions and adapt better to their specific environmental conditions.

These hot spots are fragile ecosystems. The trend of agricultural technology development focuses solely on productivity through the use of external inputs or high-yield exotic varieties. By introducing external elements, local systems become unbalanced.

Our solution targets for an endemic development where we are limiting our production to the use of local species, but aiming on better productivity through an efficiency perspective. The optimization of local resources can generate sustainable production and the restoration and conservation of ecosystems. The GIS is a tool that allows us to contribute to take precise actions, measure them and improve them, progressively.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • GIS and Geospatial Technology

Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Rural
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 10. Reduced Inequality
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Colombia

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Colombia

How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

As mentioned above, we are currently working with more than 300 families.

Our goal is to grow to 600 families participating in the amazon superfood value chain by next year and to reach 1,200 in five years.

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

1.) Number of hectares under a conservation agreement with the participants (producers/collectors) of the value chain. 

2.) Number of producers that have established an agroforestry plot.

3.) Number of hectares that have been restored through sustainable agroforestry models.

4.) Volume of production by household.

5.) Volume of amazon superfood paid by household.  

6.) Number of women that have a production and commercial contract.

7.) Income of each household.

8.) Expenditure of each household.

9.) Volume of fertilizer required for the agroforestry model.

10.) Level of precipitation.

11.) Average temperature.

About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?


How long have you been working on your solution?

1,5 years (Corpocampo has worked for 14 years in developing the amazon superfood industry in Colombia)

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

1.) Corpocampo CEO: Edgar Montenegro studied International Business in SENA. He is a social entrepreneur, social leader, farmer and has a background in the amazon superfood industry since 1998. When he was young he participated in the first programe for substitution ilegal crop implemented in Colombia. He was born in Putumayo, raised in the jungle and has an empirical formation that is unique. 

2.) Project Manager: Joaquín Gastelbondo is an anthropologist of the Universidad de Los Andes, with a Master in Agriculture and Rural Development. With a 9 years of professional background. Work experience in sociocultural research and emphasis on rural development. Knowledge of different methodologies for the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative information. Work experience in environmental consultancy; project design and management; implementation of development programes and policies in rural contexts.

3.)Data analyst leader:Juan Guillermo is a physicist from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, he completed master's and doctorate studies at the Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas investigating disordered systems and phase transitions. From 2015 to 2016 he carried out a postdoctoral stay at the University of Minas Gerais. He has worked at the Julio Garavito Colombian School of Engineering, at the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization. He is currently an analyst in the Commission for the clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition. In 2018 and 2019 he coordinated the Physics and Machine Learning study group at the National University. Since 2018, he is dedicated to the analysis of Human Rights violations with quantitative methods.

Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

Front-edge processes require extraordinary support. Corpocampo is working in transforming Amazon region of Colombia. It needs an additional push so we can establish a new development that is truly sustainable and that restores the damage caused by unsustainable economies that have been product of the lack of adequate opportunities in this marginalized regions. 

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Business model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Financial (e.g. improving accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Monitoring & Evaluation (e.g. collecting/using data, measuring impact)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. expanding client base)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)

What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

MIT faculty, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, NASA.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion to advance your solution?

Forced migration in Colombia is a war phenomenon that has impacted the rural territories. Forced displacement in Colombia today affects 3.5 million people. Forced migration has deeply affected local development. 

On the other hand, with our solution we will work in mitigation rural migration to cities, caused by lack of economic opportunities. 

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GM Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The GM Prize to advance your solution?

Corpocampo works with peasant and indigenous communities that have been historically excluded in Colombia. Our business model promotes inclusion.

According to most sources, including the World Bank, Colombia is in the top ten most unequal countries in the world in terms of family income. Closely linked to income inequality, and arguably playing an even more central role in Colombia’s conflict, is the level of land concentration: According to the United States Development Agency (USAID), just 0.4% of the population owns 62% of the country’s best land. Putumayo lags especially behind given its history of violence and its geographical segregation. Putumayo is own of the areas in Colombia with the lowest coverage in education, especially at high school level with only 27.7% of youth attending grades 10 and 11. Inequality is also demonstrated by the higher incidence of multidimensional poverty in Putumayo compared to the rest of the country. 80% of the people of Putumayo are multidimensionally poor (79% incidence of multidimensional poverty in the region), compared to the national average of 49% of people who are multidimensionally poor.

Colombia is seeking to reinvent itself as a major inclusive agricultural powerhouse as the demobilization of thousands of guerrilla fighters opens up former war zones for economic and social development. But sustainable growth can only be achieved by ensuring that all sectors of society and project participants have access to the financial, social and labor systems.

 Finding a profitable, inclusive and sustainable economic activity that can be performed in rural territories that suffer from the cited endemic problems is an opportunity to foster peace and generate economic opportunities while taking care of the environment. An açaí-based economy represents this alternative for boosting the Amazon economy and fostering inclusive and sustainable development.


Açaí berry is a ‘super fruit’ highly demanded due to its health & wellness properties. It is called the purple gold from the Amazon, because of its ‘super fruit’ properties[1]:

  • Protects cells against oxidative damage: it is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that regulate LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Helps combat premature aging due to its remarkable concentration of antioxidants, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes.
  • Promotes cardiovascular and digestive health due to a synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols.

Fruit consumption and demand of açaí berry has grown exponentially. The international market for açaí has increased 20% annually over the past three years (2015 – 2017) and spending on açaí-based products by Americans doubled from $53 MUSD (2016) to $104M USD last year (2017)[1]. Today, the açaí berry market is a $1.3bUSD opportunity. If current trends continue, açaí demand will double by 2020 to reach 3.7Mton of fruit.

 Acai berry grows in bunches and is harvested by hand, high above the ground, by forest farmers of the floodplain river communities in the Amazon region of South America. It grows in native subtropical climate with temperatures above 22C and needs organic acidic soil, which is present in tropical forests. The species are found naturally in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil, but so far, acai berry production is concentrated in Brazil[2] representing 99% of global production.

Forested land in Colombia covers 60.3 million hectares, which account for almost 56% of the total country’s territory[3]. Thus, açai palm grows naturally in all the amazonic departments of Colombia (Amazonas, Vaupés, Caquetá, Putumayo, Guaviare, Guania, Nariño, Cauca and Chocó) and rough estimates could be around 900.000 Ha of açaí palm.

[1] Kugel, Seth (2010). “Açaí, A Global Fruit, Is Dinner in the Amazon.” New York Times. https://www.indianafoodreview....

[2]IBGE :https://agenciadenoticias.ibge...

[3] Colprensa (2014) Diario La República. millones-de-hectareas-de-bosques-ideam-2169656

[1] Schauss, A. G., (2006c). Açaí (Euterpe oleracea): An Extraordinary Antioxidant-Rich Palm Fruit. Biosocial Publications.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Innovation for Women Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Innovation for Women Prize to advance your solution?

Many of the smallholders are females, however, it is a fact that few of them have formalised land ownership and they are therefore in a weak position. The project will put particular emphasis on this aspect, in order to be sensitive to the particular challenges female smallholders may encounter.

Gender issues will also be important when support is given for land titles. We must assure that the titles are issued to women and men in an equitable manner. Gender issues will be a focus area in the training for farmers, MFIs and cooperatives. 

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing to advance your solution?

By offering a stable and profitable economic alternative, many river communities will discourage overfishing.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The ServiceNow Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The ServiceNow Prize to advance your solution?

With the GIS we will develop function to measure carbon absorption and capacity and connect the beneficiaries of Corpcoampo with Carbon markets.

Also, by establishing agroforestry plot over deforested areas we are contributing to absorbs more CO2 of these sites.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The AI for Humanity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The AI for Humanity Prize to advance your solution?

Our proposal looks to contribute to knowledge management around climate change and understanding land degradation factors.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GSR Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Solution Team

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