In Nicaragua, the Farm Loan program aims to supply loans, technical assistance, training and access to new markets for local farmers, moving them to sustainability and profitability. The program has co-invested with local farmers on developing an agricultural processing plant to add value to local farm products.
The agricultural processing plant processes a number of farm products. One example, is yucca (or cassava), a local root vegetable grown locally and a staple in the diets of the poor around the world. The plant purchases the yucca and then grinds, dries and mills it to convert it into a flour. This “value added” product is sold as an ingredient in animal feed. Working with farmers to add value to their farm produce diversifies their incomes and expands markets for their produce. Opportunity, in partnership with farmers, is creating new economic opportunities for farmers resulting in higher yields and higher prices for traditional farm produce of the poor.
Other highlights include:
Farmers are diversifying their crops and planting hibiscus flower and tamarind; two crops that have commercial value when processed at the agricultural plant.
La Colonia, the largest supermarket chain in Nicaragua, is now a buyer of farm products processed through the plant.
Opportunity partnered with experts to train 32 farmers on hygienic food processing to assure compliance with food handling & quality standards.
Opportunity recently hired Dennis Brenes a Nicaraguan with over 11 years agricultural food processing experience to manage the processing plant.
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