IHCAFE and MCA-H/EDA Program, an alliance Benefiting Honduran Coffee Growers
In an effort to provide support for agriculture producers nationwide, the Farmers Training and Development Activity (MCA-H/FTDA), currently financed by the Millennium Challenge Account-Honduras, has established a strategic alliance with the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE), and is benefiting approximately 350 producers with farms located from 800 to 1,200 meters above sea level.
A special program will be implemented in these farms to produce Hass avocado and plantain, “we work directly with the producers. They have received 200 Hass avocado grafts, equivalent to one hectare, and are obtaining technical assistance from the sowing to the marketing stages” indicated Jorge Soto, sub-director of the MCA-H/FTDA Program.
According to MCA-H/FTDA technicians, the coffee zones of El Paraiso, Santa Barbara and La Paz departments, are the most suitable areas to plan Hass avocado, since they comprise heights for over 1,200 meters above sea level, with deep and loose soils to facilitate drainage.
MCA-H/FTDA technicians providing technical assistance to producer with coffee farms located below 800 meters above see level.
About 350 Honduran coffee growers are receiving technical assistance for MCA-H/FTDA Program in order to combine their coffee plantations with Hass Avocado and Plantain crops.
Jorge Soto explained that coffee growers owning farms located below 800 meters above sea level, receive training on plantain farming, “these producers have seen a good opportunity, we have held several workshops on plantain farming nationwide since this is a product in great demand, with an unsatisfied market and easy to sell directly”.
Since the MCA-H/FTDA Program is at its final stage, the workshops and training are oriented to secure project sustainability. Alliances and agreements with institutions such as IHCAFE allow project continuity, and facilitate mechanisms to assure a stable economic growth for the beneficiaries, even after conclusion of the MCA-Honduras Program.
As of this date, there are approximately 7,000 producers receiving benefits in technical assistance and training from MCA-H/FTDA; just in the coffee sector, there are about 150 coffee growers currently cultivating Hass avocado in their farms, and some other 200 producers that, besides coffee, are also growing horticulture products and receiving timely and appropriate technical assistance.
Hass avocado is currently being imported from Mexico, but these programs funded by MCA-Honduras are locally promoting Hass avocado production, allowing import reduction and offering producers new alternatives for their economic growth.
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