Inauguration of macadamia procesing plant in community of Nueva Alianza, El Palmar, Quetzaltenango
Small-scale macadamia producers in Guatemala typically do not have access to international buyers, a market currently monopolized by the countries’ three major exporting companies. The inability to access better markets forces farmers to sell at farm-gate to intermediaries at lower prices, exacerbating inequality and reducing the productivity of communities.
USAID and CRS´s Communities Leading Development (CLD) project works with Alianza S.A, a small-scale farmer-run organic macadamia company, through its inclusive value chain program to empower and address financial needs to improve their production and exporting capacities. CLD connected Alianza S.A. to CRS´s Isidro impact investment fund, which provided access to a loan for $155,000 USD to build and equip a processing plant to dry and deshell nuts and have the capacity to export macadamia kernel (nuts without shells) to international markets.
Part of the plant´s equipment and machinery were also financed by USAID and Popoyan´s PRO-INNOVA project, thanks to the coordination and joint efforts between CLD and PRO-INNOVA. Recently, Alianza S.A. inaugurated its new facilities and machinery that will allow Alianza S.A. and its over 100 small associated producing farmers and their families access to more attractive and profitable markets and will position Alianza S.A. as the first small farmer company in Central America with the capacity to export kernel to the international market.
Selection, deshell and packing area in Alianza S.A. processing plant
“The construction of a processing plant to extract kernel brings a lot of joy to the whole community and to the associates because it represents development. The plant will bring employment for many members of the community; we have dreamed of this for more than 20 years and now this dream is a reality.” – Javier Amado Jiménez, general director of Alianza S.A.
In addition, the investment will reduce transportation costs, reduce rejections of nuts, and stimulate employment and livelihoods in the area. With these actions, USAID is supporting small scale farmers in their journey to collective success and development, which aligns closely to the Root Causes Strategy by channeling investment to community projects that directly respond to community identified needs.
Alianza S.A and CLD staff during inauguration cerremony
“Our priority is the development of small companies; we are happy to see that employment is being generated for a better quality of life for farmers and their families in this community. This is a great project with a clear vision, and we are glad to see that resources are being invested for quality employment of many people. Alianza S.A. took advantage of the opportunity to invest, this is their achievement, and development doesn´t happen on its own, alliances are key, many actors must get involved to accelerate development, this is how small companies like Alianza S.A. can get further, faster. – Sigfrido Lee Leiva, Vice Minister of Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy (MINECO) Guatemala, special guest during inauguration activity.