Civil society representatives of MCA - HONDURAS Board of Directors
Visit beneficiaries of the Farmers Training and Development Activity
Güinope, El Paraíso. Mr. Rolando Bu, Executive Director of the Honduran Federation of Non Governmental Organizations (FOPRIDEH for its name in Spanish), and Héctor Midence, FONAC´s representative in MCA-Honduras Board of Directors, participated in the field visit to Güinope, a municipality of El Paraíso Department, aimed to obtain a first hand experience regarding activities being developed with local farmers within the Farmers Training and Development Activity.
The Farmers Training and Development Activity is providing technical assistance to MCA-Honduras project´s beneficiaries, applying a “learning by doing” methodology.
The visit included several communities where 12 leader-farmers and 32 beneficiaries are actually participating in a program that started in August of 2006. The leaders are farmers that have followed a two-a-half- month’s module in agricultural skills and know-how, and who are now lending their farms to teach others. The involvement of this type of farmers as extensionists represents the strategy being applied to optimize technical assistance’s time.
The farmers visited were: Rafael Díaz, Oscar Orlando Amaya, Eleodoro Valladares, Ismael Antonio Flores, Elías Lagos y Melvin Izaguirre, all of whom showed their enthusiasm with the new program.
Visitors inspected the healthy and renewed onion, tomato, lettuce, potato and carrots plantations, and also had the opportunity to individually talk with FTDA´s beneficiaries regarding training dynamics, soil conditions, access to irrigation, credit conditions and relevant gender issues.
Rolando Bu of FOPRIDEH and Héctor Midence of FONAC, with FTDA field technicians and beneficiaries.
During the visit it was possible to share and exchange experiences with local farmers.
Visitors were able to compare differences between plantations being assisted and farms that continue applying traditional technologies. As Mr. Mario Cho, the Agronomist assigned to the area to improvement crop productivity said: “A well implemented small practice can make the difference for success”.
To reach the target regarding productivity increase, the technician assigned to the region has to consider facts such as soil preparation, seed selection, nursery preparation, planting and adequate irrigation.
FTDA's objective regarding the program´s client-farmers agribusiness benefits is to attain an annual profit of US$ 2,000 per hectare.
|Training process for farmers |
will be completed in two years.
Farmers' objective have changed; their goals are more ambitious and they are learning how to overcome limits such as not knowing what to do or how to deal with stress situations. The application of new technologies is making them more confident and is opening new markets for the program's beneficiaries.
“Since the expert came, things have improve a lot” said Mr. Rafael Díaz, a hard-working farmer that has been involved in agriculture for a long time, and that is now applying new practices for his onion and tomato plantations.
From his side, Ismael Antonio Flores recognized that good practices have turned his plot in the “object of envy” of all other farmers that are now awaiting the crop in order to enter the Rural Development Program.
At the end of the MCA-Honduras program, it is expected that 8,255 farmers covering approximately 14,400 hectares, will be able to increase their net annual income through high value horticultural products farming.
It is expected to obtain significant economic impact through FDTA´s beneficiaries.