A father’s hope and newfound opportunity
Cesar Alonzo Moradel loves his wife Alida and his daughters, Lesbia and Angelica. As a third-generation bean and corn farmer in Olancho, Honduras, he also loves working the land and cultivating crops that he sells to support his family. He struggles however with an inability to sell his produce at a fair price directly to consumers. Instead, he sells his harvest to a broker who gets a significant portion from the profit margins leaving Cesar and his family with barely enough to survive.
As one of the 60 per cent of rural Hondurans living in poverty, Cesar has struggled to see hope past the violence, corruption and adverse natural disasters that disproportionately affect the poor. In one last attempt to produce a quality, marketable product, Cesar was forced to recruit his wife and two daughters including the youngest 12-year-old into farming the land with him. “My youngest daughter cannot attend school because I cannot afford to pay labourers and I cannot work the land on my own,” says Cesar. “This is not the future I wanted for my family, but I feel I have no other options.”
In partnership with the local NGO Mancomunidad de los Municipios del Norte de Olancho (MAMNO), Cuso is helping farmers enhance production through targeted, practical training, support, and access to innovative technology like the Olagro platform through Cuso’s Inclusive and Sustainable Development for Vulnerable Populations program.
Olagro provides access for small rural producers from marginalized groups to the first online platform to buy and sell agricultural products in Honduras. Generating direct access among their buyers, farmers like Cesar will now be able to offer quality products at fair market prices.
“Olagro is helping to strengthen the capacity of small farmers like Cesar, in rural areas while creating a value chain, that allows them to show the quality of their produce on an interactive platform where buyers can see offers and make a transaction directly,” says Karen Pavon, Country Representative, Cuso International Honduras. “Agriculture is an integral part of the Honduran economy and removing the broker who absorbs the profit, will keep profits in the pockets of the local farmers and the economy of their communities.”
Through Cuso’s in-depth training, Cesar will acquire the knowledge and skills he needs to enter an electronic commerce market to generate profit and contribute to the development of his community. “This technology will be life-changing,” says Cesar.
Cesar hopes that this opportunity will have immediate returns but more importantly long-term impact. “This new program is giving me the opportunity to hire local labourers, send my daughter to school and show my community how important it is to nurture and respect our wives and families,” says Cesar. “As a father, I want my daughters to inherit a thriving business and have the skills to lead it with confidence. I want them to know that just because they are not boys does not mean they can’t be successful,” says Cesar.
As a recipient of training and access to the Olagro platform, Cesar will have the resources he needs to run a successful farm while mentoring his peers and the next generation of young women and men in his community. “In our communities, women and girls face several major challenges, including a lack of economic and social independence,” says Cesar. “In many relationships, women cannot do their activities without the consent of the husband or father of the family, which limits their ability to function successfully in society. I am working hard to change this by modelling respect and equality with women to the men I work with, the men in my community.”
Without the Olagro platform, farmers like Cesar would continue to depend on the prices imposed by brokers, paralyzing them from advancing their livelihoods and ability to provide for their families. This new technology funded by Cuso in partnership with MAMNO, will give rural agricultural communities in Honduras the ability to market produce at the right price, to the right buyer, improving family income, increasing local employment opportunities and enabling children (in particular girls) access to school.
Together with your support we are providing life-changing technology and programs to rural farmers like Cesar. Help create more opportunities by making a donation in his name today.