CHALATENANGO, El Salvador — Hugo Balthazar Hernández began farming when he was 18 years old.
He and his brother learned the trade from their father, and like many smallholders in El Salvador, they grew just a few crops on their small plots. Unpredictable pricing and flaky buyers at the local markets could see entire harvests go to waste.
Join Devex on the ground in El Salvador to see how Acceso supports smallholder farmers to create a more efficient supply chain.
“In the past, the informal market didn’t allow us to be sustainable,” Hernández said.
Hernández is now 24 and cultivating 15 different crops, the speed of business growth has been possible through his partnership with Acceso, an agribusiness that spun out of a Clinton Foundation initiative and is now funded by Canadian philanthropist Frank Giustra. It provides support to farmers from seedlings to the supermarket shelf.
“We come at the producer with first and foremost market access,” said Rob Johnson, CEO at Acceso. “We basically say ... ‘we have to orient your production around what the market wants.’ So the quality, the size, all of those kinds of things. We say, ‘this is the consistency, the frequency of production [needed].’”
Acceso’s services span the entire supply chain, rather than focusing solely on microcredit or technical assistance, so its agents are able to provide farmers a range of offerings — including inputs, credit, market linkages, and buying power.
Join Devex on the ground in El Salvador and read the rest of the visual story here.
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