US Invests $5.2 Million in Salvadoran Agriculture
The U.S government, through the Department of Agriculture (USDA), is investing $5.2 million over three years in El Salvador’s Family Agriculture Project (PAF), a rural farming initiative launched last year by the Ministry of Agriculture.
In its first year, PAF benefited more than 13,000 Salvadoran families through technical and technology assistance in the Ministry’s Farming and Enterprise Schools (CEFE) located in rural areas throughout the country.
U.S. funds will be used to launch a new, value-added fruit and vegetable program under PAF, which will assist rural family farmers in the coastal zone of San Vicente and Usulután – specifically, in the Jiquilisco Estuary – to improve the competitiveness of their products on international markets.
This geographical area was chosen because the project envisions working with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to develop a med fly low-prevalence and/or med-fly free zone so that fresh fruit can be exported to the United States and other foreign markets.
The Salvadoran Ministry of Agriculture has contracted the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) to implement the project, which will benefit between 7,000 and 8,000 small farmers.
Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte participated in a launching event for the new project on July 16, together with the Minister of Agriculture, Guillermo Lopez Suarez, and the Director General of IICA, Victor Villalobos.