29 Jan STRENGTHENING PRODUCER ORGANIZATIONS IN PARAGUAY
After the signing of an agreement between the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Fundación Capital, we started working on the implementation of a strategy to strengthen small rural producers in Paraguay. This project will work with eight producer organizations supported by the program “Saemaul Undong”, which is being implemented in Paraguay jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería) and KOICA.
The field activities formally started in January, in rural locations within the departments of San Pedro and Caaguazú.
In its first phase, this project will work with the eight organizations during 12 months, so that the producers strengthen their soft skills, such as self-esteem and resilience, and their entrepreneurial skills, learning to plan and pay for their own business. The project will also focus on the development of the organizations, in order to convert them into an engine for the development of their communities through the planning of new services that generate added value, both for their members and for their communities.
The training process will be in the hands of rural development technicians, and it combines personalized visits to the farms with face-to-face workshops. During the visits, technicians will use the tablet training modules offered by APPTITUDE, an app developed by Fundación Capital that allows autonomous learning in the Guaraní language and that includes games, entertaining and interactive content. For the face-to-face workshops, a whole curriculum will be developed.
The project also seeks to facilitate the connection to markets, stimulating joint marketing through organizations, the implementation of producer fairs, the joint negotiation of contracts and the sale to markets of the country’s capital.
Also, the project is expected to work with young students of agricultural schools, so that they can lead a community development project in their localities of origin. To do this, young people will receive virtual training (e-learning) about the Saemaul Undong, a movement that promoted innovation in agriculture, manufacturing, services and other sectors in Korea, by focusing on community development to achieve a better life.
Between January 3rd and 19th, a baseline survey was conducted to better understand the current reality of the organizations and their members. This information will also serve to measure the impact results of the intervention. After performing this survey, families are already starting the tablet training with the support of rural development technicians, and they are enthusiastic about the possibilities offered by this tool, which is also their first contact with this technology. Even the youngest of the house are interested in participating and learning!