Intibucá has been a potato producing region in Honduras and this production is concentrated mostly in small farmers owning less than one hectare of land for cultivation, but the emergence of new pests and diseases and the constant price increases of agricultural inputs makes it a real challenge for farmers.
Concerned by this situation, the Foundation for Rural Enterprise Development (FUNDER) has launched a technical assistance project, and with the support of SAG/USDA/IICA is developing training and field days where farmers are trained in new production, management and marketing techniques.
FUNDER began a relationship with more than 100 producers supporting them in a potato marketing program that aims to supply the supermarket La Colonia. The program presented serious difficulties because in the field production yields were low and the product was of poor quality.
With the incorporation of recommended practices and techniques, an increase in yield of over 100% has been achieved and the product has better appearance and therefore better market acceptance.
Justino Mendez, who is a beneficiary of the Food for Progress project, receives technical, credit and marketing assistance. Mendez was one among the first to take the initial steps with the basic practices.
Mendez in the first planting cycle only incorporated drip irrigation and planted 0.09 hectares increasing his yields from 30 to 40 quintals. In the second cycle he planted the same amount of area and incorporated fertigation and the basic practices recommended by the technicians and obtained 70 quintals and in the next cycle hopes to produce 80 quintals.
"I'm always willing to change and especially when the benefit is for me," said Justino Mendez.
In this partnership there is an institutional coordination with competitiveness programs like COMRURAL and USAID ACCESO.