In Paraguay, now the country's largest starch producer, makes starch from the manioc of 7,000 local farmers at its four plants.
Codipsa, has provided a sustainable manioc market and agricultural assistance to smallholder farmers in Paraguay since 1998. In 2014, the company’s four plants processed almost 100,000 tonnes of manioc, producing 25,000 tonnes of starch. In the same year the company supplied 75% of the starch consumed in Paraguay and exported to 18 countries.
Codipsa has supported more than 10,000 small-scale agribusinesses to increase their productivity levels via a unique training module and an incentive bonus system. The training programme teaches best practices for planting, sustainable soil management and partnership-building. In particular, CODIPSA encourages farmers to engage with credit providers and to streamline their working capital usage. The bonus system rewards farmers for meeting their crop yield targets within a certain date and for producing high quality products. These practices have helped farmers raise household income and reduce workload.
With MEDA’s help, CODIPSA was able to create a positive impact in various ways:
- Access to goods and services: Has worked with over 10,000 smallholder farmers in Paraguay since inception, improving their farming income and supplying high quality starch and modified starch to over 18 countries
- High quality jobs: Created 112 jobs in four plants across the country. Sold their starch through more than 330 points of sales in Paraguay, 120 of which were owned by women. Offered loans for home renovation and children’s education to employees. Ensured delivery of legal benefits, a rarity amongst formal businesses in the country, to all employees. Maintains a health and safety policy to reduce work-related injuries
- Governance and management: Improved governance by creating a professional board
- Innovation: Ensured that smallholder farmers would be primary suppliers, in contrast to normal Latin American practices of sourcing from large institutional farms. Introduced modified starch production to Paraguay and established the company as the leading exporter of starch from Latin America