QUILALI --Storing grains is an immense problem that Suyapa Martínez y Santos Vidal Córdoba, who are members of the Smallholder Farmers Association of Quilalí, have faced for many years.
Córdoba was storing corn and beans in old barrels that were constantly affected by humidity and were infected by many different insects. “The barrels do not function to store the grains. But what else could I have done?” says the farmer who remembers only once owning a metal silo.
This 56 year old farmer cultivates two blocks of land which yields 18 quintals of corn per block. He then allocates these crops to feed his family.
Martinez has been utilizing two old silos that do not work efficiently. “They are so old that they do not function properly. I needed new silos to store my crops,” says this mother of a 9 and 11 year old. Martinez leases 2 blocks of land to harvest her crops.
The Purchase for Progress project (P4P) provides smallholder farmers with technologies to reduce crop losses and optimize production. P4P is affiliated with 9 cooperatives of the department of New Segovia.
The silos are lent to the farmers through a flexible 3 year programme which provides them with the opportunity to improve the quality of their crops.
Since Córdoba and Martínez are part of the 108 smallholder farmers of the Union in Quilalí they received metal silos.
“The quality is not only necessary to sell the grains and to sell at better prices,” affirms Gloria Jiménez, farmer and treasurer of the Smallholder Farmers Association of Quilalí. She finalized by saying that, “the quality guarantees the health of those who consume corn and beans as a source of nourishment. We should neither sell nor consume crops that have been affected by insects or illnesses.