Crop Protection Partnership is a Game-Changer in Honduras

In the four years since the Feed the Future-funded USAID-ACCESO project came to his small town, Salomón has become more than a farmer. He has become an entrepreneur, thanks in part to a public-private partnership between the crop protection industry and Feed the Future.

CropLife International, a global leader in the crop protection field, provided experts and training materials to instruct 120 field agronomists from USAID-ACCESO, including the agronomist who visits Salomón. In recent years, public funding to agricultural training and extension services has declined, and organizations like CropLife and USAID have been stepping in to fill the gap. Thus far, the partnership has provided 30,000 farmers with technical assistance.

Receiving hands-on technical assistance and training, Salomón and his neighbors learned how to properly prepare their soil, optimize plant density and nutrient application, and identify, prevent and combat the various pests and diseases that had affected their crops in recent years.

Access to production technology and crop protection products has been a game-changer for Salomón. Before, an attack from a pest or disease meant that a whole harvest could be wiped out, leaving him with nothing to sell. Now, the farmers have not only been taught how to prevent problems and apply the right product at the right time, but they are also able to handle the products safely and apply them correctly.

It’s not just yields that have increased. Thanks to Feed the Future, increased sales and market demand for the farmers’ produce have created 3,800 jobs. Sales by farmers involved in USAID-ACCESO increased by $41 million between 2012 and 2015.

With his increased income, Salomón wants to increase the reach of his business. “I am investing in buying more fertilizer and more seeds so that I can grow more,” he said.

Salomón’s story demonstrates that when given the right tools, technologies and knowledge, people can be empowered to drive their business forward, and pull themselves, their families and communities out of poverty.

Originally Published: | 28 January 2016