Food chain partnership sees companies join forces to sustain local communities in Honduras with off-season corn programmes

Fyffes Bayer sweetcorn production project

Fyffes and its subsidiary Sol Group have announced that they have developed a Corn Production and Food Security Project in collaboration with Bayer Food Chain Partnership.

The partnership is designed to provide economic opportunities for Honduran seasonal workers during the summer months.

According to Fyffes and Bayer, it involved providing farmer communities access to hybrid seeds, professional seed treatment, farmer trainings on good agricultural practices, agronomic advice and crop protection products including solutions to improve plant resilience and innovative spray technologies, like drones.

The project resulted in the production of 4,500 quintals of corn for the benefit of the local community, the groups confirmed.

Sol Group provided 185 acres of land from its farm Suragroh in Choluteca, as well as agricultural supplies, fertiliser, personal protective equipment, and technical assistance to facilitate communal production of corn during the melon off-season, benefitting more than 200 local families.

The project also included ‘field school’ training sessions for the participants to support them throughout the entire crop cycle, teaching good agricultural practices, safety and hygiene, and the use and management of agrochemical products to improve yield and overall food security.

The project also supported the local community through the establishment of a rural savings bank to manage community investment funds and develop a business model that will contribute to the food security in the region.

Fyffes noted that the project was developed in response to an independently conducted Community Needs Assessment undertaken by the company in 2021, which highlighted the need for more economic opportunities in the region of Choluteca.

“The Corn Production and Food Security Project with Bayer Food Chain Partnership has given beneficiaries a way to generate an alternative source of income for their families and to safely improve access to a grain in the staple diet of the local community,” said Fyffes sustainability coordinator in Honduras Walther Fletes.

Rita Perdomo, Bayer CropScience country commercial lead in Honduras, pointed out that Honduras was going through multiple crises currently, including food insecurity.

”The Corn Production and Food Security Project with Fyffes is a best practice example demonstrating how collaboration with the value chain improves the livelihood of local farmer communities,” Perdomo explained. “Key to its success is the holistic approach that we jointly took.”

Fyffes added that the community corn production project aligned with its sustainability pillar Enriching People’s Lives and contributed to its sustainability target ’100 per cent of communities surrounding Fyffes will participate in community socio-economic resilience projects from the four community investment areas’ by 2030.