SAN JERONIMO, COMAYAGUA- The President of the Republic a.i., Antonieta de Bográn, the President of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Howard G. Buffett, WFP Representative in Honduras, Miguel Barreto, and Laurant Sillano of the European Union opened a modern grain processing plant that will benefit small holder farmers in the departments of Comayagua and Intibuca.
The processing plant is located at the association Fuente de Vida (Source of Life) in the community of San Jerónimo and will offer services to seven local organizations of small farmers who have the collective productive capacity of 21.000 quintals of corn and 2.500 quintals of beans a year. The producers who will benefit are from the municipalities of Comayagua, San Jerónimo and El Rosario.
Fuente de Vida (Source of Life) is one organization benefiting from WFP's Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative and it promotes increasing agricultural production and sustainable access to reliable markets for small holder farmers. This will in turn, guarantee food security and improve the incomes and livelihoods of the farmers.
WFP has supported 22 organizations of small holder farmers in six departments of Honduras, benefitting more than 11.465 small holder farmers. Fuente de Vida (Source of Life) has invested 2.8 million lempiras (USD138.000) to strengthen the level of production, organization, management and finances. The investment was placed in a revolving fund that provides equipment and infrastructure for the post-harvest, including: a grains sorter with the capacity of 52 q/hr, a corn sheller with the capacity of 80-110 q/hr, portable sack sowing machines, moisture meters, a continuous flow dryer with vertical 300q capacity per cycle (8 hour cycles), a metal hopper for dry grain with a 300q capacity and a galley for grain processing.
WFP, through P4P, has invested close to 2.9 million lempiras (more than USD143.000) in the small holder farmers of Fuente de Vida (Source of Life). This investment came in the form of technological packages including, better seeds, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides. The use of these technological packages, along with technical assistance, has increased the production of corn and beans by 90% and 120% respectively.
In addition to these forces, investment of around 243.000 lempiras (approximately USD12.000) has gone to support of the organization through office equipment.
All of these efforts have been reflected in the commercial growing capacity of FUENTE DE VIDA (Source of Life). To this date, the organization has established agreements of purchase and sale of basic grains in the order of 7 million lempiras (more than USD346.000) and 14.184 quintals of grains (more than 644 metric tonnes), benefiting families from the departments of Comayagua and Intibuca.
As part of the process of strengthening small farmers’ organizations running P4P, five grain processing centres (driers) have been installed in different regions of the country with an investment of 16 million lempiras (more than USD792.000). These centres were constructed by national companies selected after a bidding process conducted by WFP and IICA. The locations were defined by WFP and IICA as well in order to provide comprehensive services to other producers of six departments of the country.
The grain processing plants are located in the following associations:
ASOPRANO (Salamá, Olanco) with the capacity of 900 quintals per cycle
UNIOPROL (Jamastrán, El Paraíso) with the capacity of 900 quintals per cycle
UNESSELL (Gracias, Lempira) with the capacity of 300 quintals per cycle
UNIOYOL (Yoro, Yoro) with the capacity of 600 quintals per cycle
FUENTE DE VIDA (San Jerónimo, Comayagua) with the capacity of 300 quintals per cycle
The processors are able to make three cycles daily and work with chasuble rice, coffee or sawdust as combustion material, making them very inexpensive and can have a drying capacity of about 270.000 per month or 12.273 quintals.
As part of the strategy of grain diversification and commercialization in Honduras, the WFP has acquired between the years 2010-2012, more than 22.000 metric tonnes (440.000 quintals) of corn and beans directly from small farmers in Honduras. These are given back to other programmes implemented in Honduras, with their own funds and funds from the government, which include; school meals, support for vulnerable groups, conditional food transfer for agricultural development, education, health and emergency response, and rehabilitation during natural disasters.
The investment in equipment, supplies, dryers, infrastructure and training by the project Purchase for Progress (P4P) and the last years has been more than 198 million lempiras (nearly USD10 million), thanks to the support of the WFP, the European Union, and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.