Suriname: Sustainable butterfly farming
||Vlindertuin de Berkenhof, Neotropical Insects N.V.
||50% grant funding by PSOM
||January 2008 – November 2010
Neotropical Insects N.V. from Lelydorp, Surinam, breeds butterflies as one of only 30 such farms that exists world wide. The farm reproduces some 20 indigenous butterfly species of which pupae are exported to butterfly exhibits in North America and Europe. One of its customers is Vlindertuin de Berkenhof based in Kwadendamme, the Netherlands, being one of Europe’s largest exhibits.
In view of ensuring sustainable butterfly farming in Surinam they established Neotropical Butterfly Park, which opened its doors officially on July 16th of 2010.
With Neotropical Butterfly Park Surinam has gained a unique and educational attraction. Visitors get a solid dose of butterfly biology, emphasizing the interrelationships of plants and wildlife and the impacts of deforestation. By dedicating a part of its capacity to educating school children, the project has led to raising respect and appreciation for nature among new generations of Surinam residents. Adult visitors become more aware of the richness and fragility of the natural surroundings. In the final year of the project the Park received nearly 7,000 visitors and slightly over 3,000 schoolchildren.
Neotropical Butterfly Park consists of a gift shop, cafeteria, playground, exposition of art related to nature and a wide variety of butterflies and other insects, a 360◦ hand painted panorama of Surinam nature and of course a decorated greenhouse with an abundance of indigenous butterflies.
Next to providing employment to 14 staff, tour operators, transport companies (buses, taxis and car rental companies) and local artists (gifts) benefit from this project.
The project has already resulted in increased export of pupae. Expansion and upgrading of all breeding facilities is expected to further upsurge exports. Next to investing in facilities for butterfly species currently bred plans are developed to set up facilities required to breed butterfly species that are very difficult to breed and therefore can command higher market prices.
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