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They train Mexican agricultural entrepreneurs

Using agro-industrial techniques, they produce export-quality strawberries, which they market directly to formal wholesale clients in Mexico and abroad.

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The Mexican agribusiness consortium Grupo Altex has promoted the training of 91 agricultural entrepreneurs in the national field, in order to create small formal companies that allow the commercialization of agricultural products at market prices without intermediaries and create formal jobs that inhibit the migration of people to different cities in Mexico or the United States.

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These agricultural entrepreneurs were trained with regenerative agriculture techniques, which make it possible to make the most of natural resources; sustainably use water and substances for pest control; multiply production without the land losing nutrients, among others, in order to produce export-quality fruits and be able to market them at market prices without intermediaries.

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A permanent training program

This program is known as Mother Earth and is permanent. In its initial phase, it has been consolidated in Maravatío, Michoacán, helping to improve the quality of life of small strawberry producers, through the Madre Tierra program that offers agronomic training, training in the use of technologies, good agricultural practices and facilitates access to capital, in that region that reports a high rate of migration.

Madre Tierra trains small strawberry producers to improve the quality, yield, and environmental impact of their production, as well as connect them with markets. The entire value chain that transforms the strawberry is involved from the small producer to the one that takes it to the final consumer. In this program, which is led by Grupo Altex, companies, NGOs and international technical cooperation organizations participate.

The integration of technology in the field has been essential to support producers to face the challenges and the first mobile application in Mexico for orchard management was developed, designed exclusively for small-scale strawberry producers. This application allows you to plan, monitor and optimize your production. In the future, it will include aspects of biodiversity such as identification of beneficial insects and other relevant species of local biodiversity. In addition to real-time weather reports.

Currently there is a second version of this application in which weather warnings such as rains, hail and winds are sent that help the producer to mitigate the impact of these phenomena in the orchard, as well as recommendations of the best times for the application of agrochemicals.

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Mother Earth Academy

In order to document this project, Madre Tierra Academy was created, in which the information and lessons learned during the project are systematized. Thus, the Madre Tierra project fosters knowledge management and gives partners the tools to promote inclusive agriculture in Mexico.

This program was launched in July 2019, with a first 4-year expectation with a global goal of having 140 small producers with which 50% of the strawberry demand for Danone in North America can be supplied. For the development of this program, Grupo Altex has made an alliance with small strawberry producers, Frexport (Agroprocessor), Danone (Project leader and dairy manufacturer), Danone-Ecosystem Fund (Danone Sustainability Fund), Walmart Foundation, GIZ German Agency for technical cooperation (They generate measures for the conservation of biodiversity), Nuup AC - NGO specialized in the development of technological solutions for small producers, Technoserve (NGO dedicated to the training of small producers in agronomic issues).

In order that the farmers who adhere to this program can integrate their families into the productive activity of the region and to provide them with the peace of mind of working, studying or training, Grupo Altex in collaboration with Hipocampus, established a Learning Center for Children that provides high-quality care and education services to the children of producers and day laborers, between 1 and 6 years old, so that while they work, the development of minors and their families is being comprehensively addressed.

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Impact of the program (2018 to June 31, 2021)

  • 91 Producers trained
  • Producers marketing:
  • Season 2018 - 6 producers 400 tons (Pilot)
  • 2019 season - 28 producers 820 tons
  • 2020 season - 42 producers - until June 8 1,2207 tons
  • 172 trained farm workers
  • 1052 Indirect beneficiaries
  • 38 sons and daughters of farmers and day laborers with scholarships with access to the Learning Center for childhood, as well as access to members of the Maravatio community. (Hippocampus)
  • + 2000 Accumulated sales (tons)
  • 4 Producers received financing from Frexport for the 2018 -2021 harvests.