Pablo Pinelli is a producer from the community of Santa Isabel Condega, Estelí in Nicaragua. A husband and father of two, Pablo and his family grow vegetables, beans, coffee, and grains on their farm. To fertilize and protect his crops from insects, Pablo used a manual atomizer – a device that releases fertilizer or insecticide spray. Yet, despite his hard work and the time that he invested in his farm, using the manual atomizer was inefficient.
Through MEDA’s Technolinks+ project, Pablo invested in an automatic atomizer. Pablo was then able to use the project’s discount to upgrade his farming technology at a more affordable price. This technology upgrade increased Pablo’s production capacity and enabled the family to expand their farm and cultivation area by 200%. The atomizer created more than a significantly faster spray time, higher yields, and increased net profits. As Pablo states, the benefits of a newer sprayer are significant.
“With this technology, we are enabled to expand our area of production and of cultivation from the time that we save. With the other mechanical atomizer, one manzana took one day to do an application [of the agrochemicals]. Now with this atomizer, this can be done in two hours. That’s to say that I can [now spray] three, four manzanas (acres) [in a day] depending on the type of crop…So it allows us to be able to establish more area of production,” Pablo reflected.
Not only did this technology positively impact Pablo and his family, but their entire community. Pablo lends his atomizer to his neighbours, which then expands production and income opportunities for other farmers in his community as well.
Pablo’s story highlights the important role these agricultural producers and entrepreneurs play in the Nicaraguan economy. Since most workers in Nicaragua work in the agri-food sector, it is essential that they gain the right resources and finance to upgrade their equipment to enable their farms and businesses to adapt to climate-related shocks while staying competitive. This year’s UNFSS summit will greatly impact how millions of farmers, like Pablo, will be able to grow and sell their food. Stay tuned to see what decisions will be made in September after the summit.