The success of planting and production programs depends on crop management, adherence to quality standards, and strong relationships with buyers.
Paula Peraza Vasquez of Ocotillo, Lempira began working with USAID-ACCESO in 2014 after deciding to grow passion fruit to earn additional income for her family. In 2015, she continued received technical assistance and training from agronomists on the ACS-USAID project.
Postharvest and processing specialists convinced Paula to start selling the pulp from her harvested passion fruit. With basic processing techniques, she was able to produce this value-added product in her home. She also began buying pulp from seven other ACS-USAID supported farmers in her community. Paula buys the fruit for less than a dollar per kilo and sells the pulp at more than three times the price.
Her small business, Agroindustria Peraza, is now flourishing, earning her a net profit of nearly $1,000 per month. With support from ACS-USAID, she linked up with buyers in San Pedro Sula and has started selling her product to restaurants across western Honduras.
“I never thought I would have my own business and be where I am today. For this, I am very thankful for all the help and training the project has given me,” she said.
She plans to invest her earnings into expanding her passion fruit planting with the goal of being able to meet demand for the pulp entirely from her own plot. She also wants to purchase an additional freezer and make improvements to her kitchen for improved processing efficiency.
Paula’s success is a clear example of the benefits of applying basic practices such as soil preparation, crop rotation, and processing for improved productivity and quality.