Monday, October 18, 2010

Guyana FTF Program Helps Farmers Reach Goal of Exporting

Volunteers Trevor Hylton and Brian Rosa examine butternut squash crop with Hauraruni members
Over the past 18 months or so, Partners' Farmer to Farmer Program has been assisting the Haururuni Friendly Farmers Society in their shadehouse and in-field production of vegetables. You may remember previous blog posts about their efforts and challenges - growing crops in very sandy soils, experimenting with shadehouse production of vegetables and other technologies.

We are excited to announce that their hard work has paid off and Hauraruni has reached its goal: they have recently exported their first crop to Antigua and Barbados! Whereas only 60% of the crop - butternut squash - was expected to be deemed export quality, a startling 91% was determined to be high enough quality for export. The farmers are able to sell the remaining crop to local markets, and they are planning to send a 200 lb sample to New York City. This achievement is a significant success since small-scale farmers in Guyana are rarely able to produce a sufficient amount of crops of export quality and, even so, to make the linkages to export markets.

FTF Volunteers meet with IICA Representative Mr. Jean
Their success did not come easily. This article in the Kaieteur News Online denotes the many obstacles faced by Hauraruni but also their resourcefulness. In the words of FTF Volunteer Pete Wotowiec, "they... are very astute business people, sincere, and hard working." In addition to Partners of the Americas, the Farmers Society has solicited assistance from various international organizations such as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) and the USAID Guyana Trade and Investment Support (GTIS). Over these many months the Farmer to Farmer Program has worked together with Hauraruni and these organizations to increase knowledge and make improvements in hydroponics, pesticide safety, drip irrigation and fertigation, greenhouse management, and crop nursery management among others. Below are pictures taken over the course of the past year at Hauraruni.
Hauraruni Friendly Farmers Society Chairman Mr. Fredericks working in shadehouse, 2009
Mr. Fredericks explains problems with soil preparation, April 2010
Fields were being prepared for first crop, papaya, during visit of Volunteer Pete Wotowiec in June 2010
Volunteers and Chairman Fredericks taking  a break from harvesting squash, Sept 2010
Assessing vegetables produced with hydroponics, Sept 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment