Rural farmers in Paraguay are having great success selling their passion fruit through farming associations to a leading corporate juice brand. This is thanks to USAID's support through Paraguay Productivo, a program that connects small farmers with private sector buyers.
Last week, I had the chance to visit some farmers in Paraguay's Itapua province and learn about their experiences with Paraguay Productivo and especially the leading local buyer, Frutika. I was thrilled to see the benefits of the program for myself and hear the testimony of small-scale farmer, Lucia Santos, whose life has been transformed through her production work. In the following video, she says that she now has enough money to buy necessary items for her family.
USAID/Paraguay Productivo has The program also provides technical support to farmers, including advising them on how to best produce crops. And it has helped them find buyers like Frutika, one of Paraguay's most successful food processing and distribution companies, which buys passion fruit and other products from small farmers.
Some municipalities are joining the effort because they are investing in nursery production for passion fruit. In rural Paraguay where the poverty rate is as high as 48 percent, this assistance is really helping to transform people's lives.
At the end of the day, I visited the production plant at Frutika and saw first-hand the results of the farmers' hard labor. Frutika is one of the best-selling companies in Paraguay, and the leading provider of juices such as orange juice, passion fruit, and peach. Here, engineer Celso Cubilla discusses the importance the company's partnership with Paraguay Productivo to its business goals.