F2F volunteer, Wayne Burleson, poses for a photo after his organic compost workshop.
The Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F) in Guatemala implemented by Partners of the Americas focuses efforts on two country project strategies: Horticulture and Rural Enterprise Development. F2F directly supports Feed the Future investments in market-led agricultural development for the Western Highlands.
Volunteer assignments focus on:
1) Improving greenhouse and field production, including ornamental flowers, stone fruit, apples
2) Adding value to horticulture products by helping producers and processors meet quality and sanitation standards to obtain domestic and international certification. Volunteers Dr. Jay Brunner and Walt Bentley worked on an integrated pest management for Asociación Nacional de Productores de Frutales Deciduos (ANAPDE), a group of apple and peach farmers in the Western Highlands. The volunteers customized integrated pest management schemes for each farm, including use of horticultural oils for mite and scale management, trapping methods, painting tree trunks to avoid sunburn, planting the trees on small mounds, and avoiding the use of pyrethroid insecticides that kill beneficial mites. Such improved management yielded much higher quality fruit, leading to a 15% increase in farm gate price/unit of fruit.
Volunteer Bethzabet Sastre-Flores assisted ANAPDE with postharvest handling. A two week training with ANAPDE members focused on techniques to maintain high quality fruit and increase farm gate prices. Bethzabet’s recommendations, which are being adopted by ANAPDE members, include storing fruit in areas with better air circulation, applying a fungicide prior to fruit chilling, and implementing a registration and tracking system.
Rural Enterprise Development
Assignments focus on organizational development, marketing, and ensuring that businesses meet standards for export. One host is the women’s group Union Esperanza in the village of Buenos Aires, Huehuetenango, where 30 women add value to locallygrown peanuts, processing them into fried, salted, sweet and spicy finished products. F2F volunteers helped Union Esperanza improve marketing, packaging and labeling, while improving quality of their products. Volunteer Diane Twete conducted trainings in food safety and processing with the group, focusing on sanitation and hygiene. Recommendations helped Union Esperanza increase revenue and profit margins.
Implementer: Partners of the Americas
Budget: $2 million
# of Volunteers: 130
Areas of Focus: Rural Enterprise, Development, Horticulture