TİKA Donates Agricultural Equipment to Mayan Farmers
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) became the first international organization to reach out to 850 indigenous Mayan farmers who produce coffee in the Alta Verapaz region in northern Guatemala. TİKA increased the production capacity of the farmers by providing equipment support.
During the handover ceremony conducted by the Tamahu Municipality of the Alta Verapaz Region, equipment was delivered to the 25 communal leaders of the Coffee Producers Union. Technical equipment which was provided under the framework of the project implemented in cooperation with Strategies for International Development (SID) enabled the processing of the coffee beans thus putting a smile on the faces of the recipient farmers.
During the speeches which took place at the ceremony, representatives of the Coffee Producers Union, Maria QUEJ and Paulino TIPOL stated that previously the biggest obstacle for assistance to be provided came from the fact that they were located at such a distance from the urban center, in a relatively isolated region. However, TİKA was the first international organization to overcome these obstacles in order to assist the indigenous population. Ms. Quej and Mr. Tipol added that this support was especially dear to them since it was the first of its kind and a very important step in the fight against poverty in the region. They added that the farmers would utilize the full potential of the equipment provided to them. The 850 recipients of the equipment as well as their families thanked Turkey for the support.
The National Director of Strategies for International Development (SID) in Guetamala, Bayron LEAL added that a large segment of the population including the family members of the farmers would benefit as a result of this assistance.
Majority of the population of Guetamala, one of the least developed countries in Central and Latin America, reside in rural areas isolated from city life. Coffee, which is one of the largest exports of the country is one of the main sources of livelihood in the Verapraz region.
The Mayan peoples rely on coffee production as one of their primary sources of income. However due to the lack of technical equipment, these farmers were previously unable to process the coffee beans thus having to cell unprocessed coffee beans to other exporters. As a result of the equipment provided to the farmers, they will now be able to process the coffee beans which will result in a % 75 increase in their production levels as well as a % 35 increase in their profit margins in a very short period of time.