The Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative accompanies 10 small holder organizations in the North of Nicaragua. The members of the organizations are producers of basic grains who are receiving training in production techniques, post-harvest and marketing. P4P Global Coordinator, Ken Davies, visited the Nicaraguan cooperatives. The picture shows Ken Davis, the members of the Multiple Services Cooperative Santiago, P4P Programme Adviser, Laura Melo (left), WFP Country Director, Helmut W. Rauch and the P4P Team in Nicaragua.
The Manager of the Santiago Cooperative, Ramón Méndez, talks to the P4P Coordinator, Ken Davies (l), and WFP Representative in Nicaragua, Helmut W. Rauch, after meeting with the members of the organization.
Brígido Belli Palacios is one of the first smallholder farmers who began to use the ‘matraca’ to sow maize and beans in Nueva Segovia. "The ‘matraca’ works very well. I don’t have to spend money on renting oxen for plowing anymore, and the production has improved," said Brígido while making a demonstration of how to use the "matraca", which does not damage the soil and reduces production costs. The machines have been purchased by the farmers’ organization through P4P, under a co-financing modality.
The drying hut is one of the techniques that are used by the farmers participating in P4P in Nicaragua. They are easy to make and reduce 100% of the losses by protecting the maize from environmental factors which compromises its quality, such as dust, humidity, pests and keep it safe from birds and rodents.
As part of improving access to markets P4P is training farmers to improve the post-harvest handling of their production and promoting storage structures called "cocoons". It´s hermetic and impermeable technology eliminates the needs for any toxic storage pesticides and fumigants. The “cocoons” can be installed indoors or outdoors.
After 22 days of storage in the "cocoons", weevils and other insects die asphyxiated. There is no opportunity for fungus. The cooperative members are happy because they no longer have to rely exclusively on metallic silos to store their production with the hope of selling it later at better prices.
The Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), one of the government P4P partners, develops training school fields with the members of the cooperatives to enhance their knowledge and skills in agricultural techniques and technologies. In the picture, the farmers use the sheller machine in the plot.
The shelling machine removes maize grain from cobs. The grain comes out clean and with an uniform cut. It also saves time to the farmer. In the school fields the small holder producers have the opportunity to learn about the operation of the machinery and its advantages.
Small holder producers, who participate in the school fields, share their experiences with the technical trainers, learning by doing. These experiences are especially important to the farmers to be prepared before the planting season begins in May.
P4P facilitates the purchase of cleaning and processing machinery and storage system to enhance the storage capacity of the cooperatives and the post- harvest handling. This way, the farmers organizations get to sell their products at fair prices.