Two years ago, farmers of jocote, a fruit native to Central America, were struggling with high post-harvest losses and low prices set by middlemen. The situation was so bleak that several of the jocoteros considered selling the farms they had owned for decades. But with TechnoServe’s assistance, the farmers learned to grow and harvest their crops more efficiently and thus produce more saleable jocote. TechnoServe also connected the farmers directly to a Salvadoran food processing company that exports to the U.S. market.
Now, making nearly $45,000 in annual incremental revenue from their combined 124 acres, TechnoServe’s clients are able to employ nearly 2,000 seasonal workers. Equally important, they are setting a good example for other nearby growers.
These farmers are part of a TechnoServe program to boost exports of traditional ethnic products from El Salvador to the United States. The growing number of Salvadoran migrants has fueled a strong U.S. market for products such as baked goods, dairy products and fruits like jocote. TechnoServe is providing guidance and training so that would-be exporters can access this growing market.