The coronavirus pandemic caused changes in various sectors, one of which is agriculture. Faced with the obligation of physical isolation, the training they receive from various programs is now done via the Internet and they no longer go to listen to talks at a place but are visited in their communities.
This is told by Christian Saavedra, head of the Nestlé Ecuador Agricultural Development Service, who participates in the Cacao Plan. After a decade of existence, this program had to be transformed to reach farmers with training and technification to improve their production.
“Before, we used to do field schools, where 20, 25, 30 farmers went; Now because of the issue that must be kept apart, one is choosing to visit farm by farm. And in order to cover all the farmers, we are also doing the online training that we started at the end of July, ”Saavedra explained in an interview with EL UNIVERSO.
In 2019, this plan trained 3,650 farmers in ten provinces of the country (Esmeraldas, Pichincha, Santo Domingo, Los Ríos, Manabí, Guayas, Bolívar, Cañar, Chimborazo and El Oro) and the goal for this year is to maintain that figure with a projection of reaching 3700.
As part of this initiative, there is the so-called Pruning and Grafting School, which trains women and men for four months, with theoretical and practical classes. “In total, 702 farmers have graduated, 350 specialized in grafting and 352 in pruning,” the company said in a statement.
In 2019, the participation of women was 22%, and the intention is that each year that percentage increases. Meanwhile, 30% of those who are trained are young people between 18 and 30 years old, Saavedra said.
To join the program, interested people can contact Nestlé Ecuador on their social networks at the telephone numbers 1800-Nestlé (1800-637853) and (02) 3986-500. (I)