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Cooperativa Agrícola Esfuerzo Occidental Limitada (CAEOL)

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Public Statement 2015

Title Strengthening the capacity of small growers to produce vegetables and basic grains
Type of organization Cooperative
Country Honduras
Duration  Three years
IAF Funding   $150,000
Counterpart Committed $163,580: ($139,030 in cash; $24,550 in kind)
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries
Direct: 70
Indirect: 1,000
Primary program areas Agriculture/food production

Organizational background
La Cooperativa Agrícola Esfuerzo Occidental Limitada (CAEOL), which became legally constituted in 2009, works to improve the income of its 70 member farmers residing in 10 municipalities in the departments of Copán and Santa Barbara. Every two years, its membership elects a board of five directors who meet once a month to provide oversight. The board hires a general manager who supervises agricultural and marketing specialists, a project coordinator and an accountant. CAEOL has developed a five-year strategic plan, a business plan and policies on credit and on the inclusion of women; staff has standardized procedures for operating its packing house and farm equipment. Clients include the supermarket La Colonia and Wal-Mart’s distributor Hortifruti. Revenues are sufficient to fund 70 percent of CAEOL’s operating costs. OXFAM, the European Commission and Organismo Cristiano de Desarrollo Integral de Honduras (OCDIH) have financed CAEOL.

Project Objective
To develop farmers’ income potential and access to markets and to improve CAEOL’s effectiveness as an organization.

CAEOL will work in 10 municipalities in two departments in western Honduras to help its member farmers adopt practices compatible with the responsible use of the environment, increase production and generate more income. As an organization, CAEOL will develop its administrative skills, expand its membership, find new markets and provide technical training. Seventy farmers will benefit directly and another 1,000 Hondurans indirectly.

Rationale for funding
CAEOL is a model grassroots organization whose members work together to improve their economic options. The cooperative has already identified reliable outlets for its farmers’ production and is able to commit a significant in-kind contribution. 

Learning Opportunity
CAEOL should show which practices are most effective for generating income and increasing markets.