Loma Alta is a microenterprise operation that began in 2014 in Azacualpa, Honduras with Feed the Future support. The business, formed by Norma Linares and her husband, started out by processing roughly 300 plantains a month, turning them into chips for sale to local retail outlets.
Over the past two years, Feed the Future has provided a wide range of training and technical assistance in improving processing efficiency, quality control, packaging, and facilitating market contacts. Thanks to this support, the small business is now processing 3,000 plantains and producing 5,000 bags of chips a month.
To meet this increased demand, Feed the Future’s ACCESS to Markets project linked client plantain growers to Loma Alta to guarantee raw supplies. The business is generating just over $1,000 a month in net income, with sales being expanded to nearby communities.
With the market outlets established for the plantain chips she saw the opportunity to diversify into other product lines and attended trainings in dairy and sausage processing. In early 2016, she began production of both lines and is now achieving monthly net incomes of $600 from dairy products and $220 from chorizo sausages.
Feed the Future support has also been provided to help Loma Alta obtain their company legalization documents, trademark registration, and sanitary license. Norma continues to expand her sales, including making direct sales for residential orders. With her additional earnings and growing product line, she has hired two full-time employees and purchased a motorbike for delivery services.
Norma and her family are an example of the power of entrepreneurship – with their determination and some outside technical assistance, they turned a small home business into a thriving enterprise that turns locally-sourced raw materials into high-quality products. To date, the Feed the Future ACCESS to Markets Activity is working with 16,500 household in rural Western Honduras to increase incomes through agricultural and animal production, value added and off-farm businesses.