Farmers’ interviews

1. What are the main challenges to produce and provide for your family?

For us farmers, the main challenge we face to grow crops is the high cost of chemical fertilizers. This is what greatly increases our spending in crop production. The other challenge is reaching markets because we do not have a stable buyer in Bucaramanga. We have to sell to the wholesalers and they keep most of the profit.

2. What are your main strengths to produce and provide for your family?

One of our strengths is that thanks to infrastructure we have better yields and productivity. We generate jobs and, since we are applying organic fertilizers, productivity increases because our production period gets longer. Organic fertilizers help the plant to have a proper growth. As you can see, this tomato crop has been yielding for two months and will keep producing for one and a half months. So this is the main benefit of organic fertilizers since the chemical ones shorten the production period.

3. Taking your strengths and challenges into account, what has been the benefit in requesting a MEbA loan?

By getting the loan we are favouring a better adaptation of our crops. Thanks to our irrigation system we are getting ahead. Now we only irrigate twice daily for five minutes so we are not wasting water. We are using organic fertilizers so we don’t damage the vegetative cover of the soil. All this allows us to have better crop productivity. 

4. In what other project would you like to invest to be better prepared to face changes in climate?

I would like to invest in improving my infrastructure because it is not yet well systemized. Climate change has harmed us a bit due to increased rains and frosts. Water gets into our greenhouse, which damages our tomatoes, so I would like to invest, above all, in infrastructure improvement.

5. Climate change is a global problem that needs individual solutions. How do you think you can contribute to solving the problem?

We are contributing in improving water management, we are not wasting water. The other thing is that we are not damaging the vegetative cover. We are combining organic fertilizers, using a mix of chicken and goat manure with minor elements.