Vice President of Honduras María Antonieta de Bogran, the President of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Howard G. Buffett, WFP Representative in Honduras Miguel Barreto and European Union delegate Laurant Sillano inaugurated a modern grain processing plant that will benefit farmers and producers in the departments of Comayagua and Intibucá.
SAN JERONIMO, COMAYAGUA. - This processing plant is located at the FUENTE DE VIDA Association in San Jerónimo community and will provide services to seven small local organizations that have a combined production capacity of 21,000 bushels of maize and 2,500 quintals of beans per year. Benefiting producers are from the municipalities in Comayagua, San Jeronimo and El Rosario.
Through P4P, WFP has invested over US $140,000 for smallholders from FUENTE DE VIDA in technology packages which include provisions for seed improvement, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides. The use of technology for maize and beans, including technical assistance, has led to the increased production of maize and beans by 90% and 120% for most producers associated with the organization
In addition to these efforts, investment of around US $12,000 in organizational strengthening through minimal office equipment has been provided.
As part of the activities to strengthen the capacity of small producers' associations P4P has installed five grain processing centers (dryers) in various areas of the country which amounts to an investment of US $790,000. Each one was constructed by a national company selected after a national bidding process conducted by WFP and IICA, who technically defined each ones location in order to provide extensive services to producers from the country’s other six departments.
Grain processing plants are located at the following associations, not including a new plant that will soon be opened in Yoro:
UNIOPROL (Jamastrán, Paradise) 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 can perform three daily cycles and work with chasuble rice, coffee or sawdust as combustible material, making them very inexpensive with a monthly drying capacity of about 270,000 quintals or 12,273 metric tons.
As part of the diversification and marketing strategy of grains in Honduras, from 2010-2012 WFP has acquired over 22,000 metric tons (440 million pounds) of maize and beans directly from smallholder Honduran farmers to be used for the programmes WFP implements in Honduras. With own funds and government funds these programmes include school meals; support for vulnerable groups; conditional food transfers for agricultural development, education and health; and emergency response and rehabilitation after natural disasters.
Investment in equipment, supplies, dryers, infrastructure and training by the Purchase for Progress (P4P) Project in recent years has been roughly US $9.8 million, with the support of WFP, the European Union and the Howard Buffet Foundation in the United States.
Hetze has 16 years of experience in strategic planning, visibility and information materials. She has worked in radio, television, newspapers, and as a consultant on communication and training.