In Recognition of Their Competitiveness, MCA-Honduras Awards Prizes to Plantain Producers Participating in the Farmers Training and Development Activity (FTDA)
Comayagua.-In an effort to promote plantain production in the country, MCA-Honduras –through its Farmers Training and Development Activity (FTDA)- awarded prizes to the four producers presenting the highest yields registered nationwide.
After a close competition, the first place was shared by producers Juan Gutiérrez and Marcial Castro, both from Reitoca, Francisco Morazán, and with a production of more than 121,000 pounds per hectare; the second place was awarded to Milton Escobar from Juticalpa, Olancho, who produced 120,000 pounds; and the third place for Ramón Ponce from San Juan de Flores, with a production of 116,000 pounds per hectare.
The awardees receive a plaque of recognition for the high volumes obtained in their production during 2008. Prizes were handed out by Marco Bográn, MCA-Honduras representative to the event, who congratulate and urged them to keep working during 2009, “this is an innovative way of rewarding our producers´ perseverance and, as part of the Millennium Challenge Account, and we express our satisfaction in supporting these events, so important for the national horticultural production”.
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Marco Bogran, MCA-Honduras Representative, handing out to Marcial Castro the plaque of recognition for his high volume production during 2008. .
More than 150 plantain producers attended the ceremony and the exhibition of agricultural equipment, receiving different gifts granted by firms dedicated to promote agricultural development.
Andy Medlicott, Director of FTDA, explained that, according to FTDA´s investigations, the estimated national plantain demand is of 3 million, 120 thousand pounds per month, including fresh product and other needed for processing and export. To supply such demand it is necessary to plant 4,940 hectares of plantain annually, which represents a monthly production of 412 hectares required to meet periodicity in the deliveries.
Mr. Medlicott also informed that plantain exports for 2008 reached 3,455,388 pounds, equivalent to US$ 676,138, and that imports for the same year attained 30,606,974 pounds, representing US$ 3,312,126. The main importers are the processing plants.
From the beginning of the Program up to May 2009, the technical assistant provided by MCA/FTDA has helped to plan 883 hectares of high density plantain in 15 Honduran departments. To this date, the local sales from crops harvested by 141 producers amount 1.75 million dollars, representing net incomes for 0.68 million dollars.
Nearly 150 men and women producers attended the ceremony to reward the effort and competitiveness of four Honduran plantain producers.
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In comparison to traditional systems, by applying advanced technology that includes high density crops, drip irrigation and an only harvest cycle, it is possible to increase six times the current per hectare production.
Attendees to the event organized by MCA/FTDA included BANADESA President Mario López, and Antonio Coello, Director of USAIS/RED program, as well as MCA-Honduras and FTDA representatives.