Sustainable Production and Commercialization of Indigo in El Salvador : Exploration and Program Plan

In the year 2000, the Balsam Association, a nongovernmental organization, approached members of the Health Dyes Project, Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, for assistance with small-scale indigo projects in El Salvador.

This project will explore the feasibility of reintroducing indigo production in the community of San Lucas, province of Sonsonate, as part of a sustainable agroindustrial model. Researchers will identify potential markets for natural indigo; assess the environmental, social and economic impact of producing the crop on an industrial scale; calculate potential production capacity in a selected region; consider the potential for transferring Canadian technology to El Salvador; examine the elements of indigo growth, production and extraction; and inform the design of an agroindustrial model for sustainable production and fair-traded commercialization of natural indigo.

The project is also expected to be of direct benefit to approximately 100 families in San Lucas.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, November 1, 2007

End Date

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


18 months

IDRC Officer

Mougeot, Luc

Total funding

CA$ 47,860


El Salvador, North and Central America, South America


Foundations for Innovation

Project Leader

Elizabeth M. Crown


University of Alberta

Institution Country


Institution Website