Inversion y Desarrollo con Luis Velasquez 197 1/1 Extensionismo Agrícola para el Desarrollo Rural

Uploaded by InversionyDesarrollo on 06.02.2012

Welcome to Investment and Development.
Today we will appoach the topic: "Agricultural Extensionism for Rural Development".
For which we have a select group in our panel, beginning with the Engineer Polan Lacki,
who is visiting us from Brazil, an expert on agricultural issues. The engineer Edin Barrientos, former Vice Presidential candidate,
former Minister of Agriculture, Cooperative supporter and Agricultural Extensionist and Mr. Julio Recinos an Economist,
former Minister of Agriculture and Director of the Cooperative Sector. Welcome to Investment and
Mr. Polan Lacki, you, who visit us from Brazil and have traveled around the world, what is the importance
of Agricultural Development in the Economic Development and Social Development in our countries?
The importance is that for most of the countries especially in Latin America, a big part of the employment
comes from the Rural Sector, much of the total foreign exchange, export volumes also
and a high percentage in the composition of GDP, because of this, is the importance of the sector.
Mr. Barrientos, what is the Agricultural Extensionism, how it is applied and what we should do
to apply it in the Rural Areas of Guatemala?
That's a great question, here I have a professor, specialist in the agricultural education such as Polan,
and a beloved colleague and maker of Agricultural Extension. There is a big discrepancy
almost Vincentian, the Monk also Brazilian, a great teacher said ¿communication or extension?
What really works is everything that the world knows as "Informal Education" of this is that we the classics
that practice extension, talk about the famous 4 phases of extension: The Motivation that is for youth,
for the kids who finish their primary school of 12, 13 years old and so on, up to 18 years.
The Formation in adults, 18 years old onwards where we try to have some things,
that the one who wants to be a farmer can be a farmer. Who wants to be an agroindustrial can be an agroindustrial
who wants to be a forester, will be, or who wants to be livestock farmer be a livestock farmer, because there is a formation process there.
And then the part of Promotion, which I think is the part we have talked about in Investment and Development for years.
Personally and professionally, when this farmer, forester, livestock farmer or fish farmer decides
that he wants to start a business, it is here where he is accompanied with other services such as financing,
the organization of the production, the altogether part, the part of the Economies of Scale.
Because of our personal hobby and our belief in the Cooperative System is that we like it to be under this figure,
then there is the part of The Monitoring, there is entrepreneur that is already located, that knows how to pack and knows how to produce
knows where to sell. But eventually one of these days wants to do a new thing or has a problem that he is not ready to solve
and knows what door to knock and that door is an Extension Office, which can be from the Public Sector,
Private or Private Nonprofit , but this is really the value of the services in the Rural Area
as Entities of Transformation or Change Agents.
Now, what can we do to diversify our production, seek more profitable crops and that really the farmers
and communities can benefit from what they are producing?
So to say, what it's necessary so that the agriculture or the farmers to be modernizing,
in fact they have to be looking for better alternatives in culture, also we have talked with the Engineer
Polan Lacki that in his experience in the field of extension, has also argued that one of the major points of
this activity is precisely the diversification and the search of new crops and also how to make profitable
those crops which farmers are dedicated to.
Mr. Lacki, you mention in your lecture about "The Launch of the Year of the Cooperatives" here in Guatemala
about the case of Singapore, that they bet upon education, training, automation. You gave the example that
they have 11 months of education and here in Guatemala we only have 9. What should we do to educate,
train and introduce technology to our farmers in Guatemala?
In Singapore and South Korea also, war-torn countries in the 50's and today
are a star specifically in the matter of development, the issue is the following: What is lacking in Latin America
is that we the citizens the population, the public opinion make conscience that here there is not much to discuss.
The most essential input for the development of the modern world is the input of "knowledge". In us unfortunately
very few farmers in terms of percentage possess that knowledge to produce efficiently.
Efficiently manage the property, market with efficiency. There is clear evidence that our farmers
and not just the small, but the medium and large, they become much more efficient
if they begin to be more professional and lay down once and for all that harmful ancestral individualism.
So then they can survive in this competitive market within globalization.
Integrate or perish, now Engineer Barrientos, you know very well the strengths and potential
of Guatemala in the field of agroforestry livestock, what should we do to take advantage of these potential
with everything you told us today professor Polan Lacki?
We are clear, the critical input is called "Knowledge" and this means that if we are in agriculture then we must know about
seeds. If we are in livestock, about genetics and the same if we are in forestry.
Once you already know this, comes from the concept of which are the best production practices.
We see clearly how to success and how to get into the way to the development of Guatemala, we currently have 1,400,000 cooperative members
in our country but it's vital that we can also take these to the 14,000,000 Guatemalans.
There are many communities that have not had this opportunity. How can we channel through the various Municipal Governments,
Governments, Development Councils to carry the Cooperative Movement and be a solution for these communities development?
In our country we have some advantages: 1 is having well organized Cooperative Sector
pyramid-shaped, meaning: we have Associates, Cooperatives, Federations and the Confederation.
And so we have a worldwide organization of cooperatives but within the Public Sector
there is the National Institute of Cooperatives that is also the one called to do the promotion of the Cooperative Movement in
these different communities and this is also a work that the federations have been doing during the past 30 to 40 years
and from there comes the growth that has taken the Cooperative Movement for that work, which makes both the organized movement,
as the National Institute of Cooperatives.
Very important, in fact, Guatemala is a success in the Cooperative Movement.
Let's take a break and then we will continue with Investment and Development.
Mr. Polan Lacki, you as an expert in the area of agriculture that are visiting us from Brazil, that have been a member of the FAO,
have been an extensionist and have traveled around the world, what do we have to work in the case of Guatemala with the 33,000 communities,
with Community Leaders, with the 333 Mayors, with the 22 Governors, with the System of National Development Councils
that we have, which we call COCODES in communities COMUDES in municipalities and in the departments CODEDES
and that Brazil has been doing rightly and so that today it's the 6th largest economy
and is part of the BRIC group?
Specifically, if I was given the power to enforce something I would start making a real revolution in education,
our system of education in Latin America, in all the countries of Latin America is anachronistic
dysfunctional and deeply inefficient. There is an absolute misunderstanding in our elementary, middle and high schools
are teaching the students, those who really need to learn to be better people, better family members and community members
better employees, better entrepreneurs, better community leaders, I think that from there we should start.
We should call all the elementary, middle and high schools to submit to the criticism of the public opinion.
That the people, the users of education, say directly to the teachers, what is that they understand that their children need to learn
and not leave at the sole discretion of educators that topic.
We definitely need a revolution to focus in the concept of: Productivity, Competitiveness,
Economic Development, Social Development that our country needs and there is where must be manifested
the political will of the authorities in: Education, Agriculture, Economics, of course of the Governors and Mayors
but above all, of us the citizens to promote these changes.
Speaking always the part of productivity and welfare. Mr. Barnett, Mr. Lacki mentioned success stories
in the part of livestock, what challenges do we have in Guatemala for the economic area in our country to be regionally competitive?
When you see the central highlands you see the vegetables. You go to Chimaltenango and want an wheatstalk
you need to go shopping to the Solola market and in Solola there is no wheat they bring it from the Marquense highlands
because now that is a handcraft, and not just a crop and that's the interesting part with the livestock.
So let’s say that today the most important fair turned 160 years, it's the cattle fair of Jutiapa.
There every November, arrive all the weaned steers, which come from all the east of the country
and go straight to the growing sites, which are now located in Izabal and Peten. During the last 4 years
We in the Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives of Guatemala and fellow farmers in the area of Peten,
practically had to build a livestock trail, operating in La Libertad, Peten, when we told to the President of the Republic,
Mr. President, this has more of an energy version than a livestock version, why do you say so?
Well because we're going to butcher 150 cows per day, that will decrease 10 trucks per day from Peten across the Atlantic route to Villa Nueva
and in that moment enters the global economic crisis and today
the reproduction level dropped from 85% to 90% we had that ability of reproduction in livestock,
almost 70%. This has been a complete deterioration in the animal health systems that was influenced by the lack of price
that had the meat in the international market.
So to say, it must be viewed in a integral manner. Now Guatemala our country is blessed by God,
we have any amount of water, we have a number of resources that we must take advantage of
to generate hydraulic energy, but also to take these dams for irrigation systems,
for tilapia culture. We have the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, we have lakes. What must we do to develop
the fishing industry, to pass from a part of survival and a part of handicraft to conglomerates and cooperatives like the ones you have
and to generate more food, more jobs and higher incomes in the cultivation of Tilapia in the cultivation of the fish?
As you say it's really necessary to do all of it in our country that counts with such resources.
What has to be worked precisely is the issue, whether have that extension to bring that knowledge
to different communities, different places that have the capacity to produce and have
this production that needs to be moving to market. Knowing that fish is a very nutritious food,
but also a very unfamiliar food. Then you should start promoting the consumption and to give the work of extension,
for family also learn how to eat fish and with that we can expand the market. So this production
that we will take in different communities will find the market that will consume it.
Mr. Lacki, it's imperative that from childhood and youth this culture be created in the productive part
for example through school gardens. What policies should be implemented through the school gardens for example?
What policies should be implemented at home and also towards the Central Government to promote
in an urban and rural form, the agricultural part again it is an economical solution for the country?
In a country that depends so heavily on its agriculture, the first step that rural primary schools should take
is agriculturalist or ruralize their curricular content, rather than continue to teach so much history of the Pharaohs
from Egypt and Luis 14, 15 and 16 of France or the Roman Empire. To remove these very marginal issues of importance,
and teach associationism notions, of solidarity, of love of neighbor, not to steal, not lie,
planting vegetables, planting medicinal plants, take measures to prevent risks, against diseases
and teach them elemental notions of hygiene, nutrition. Teach them why each plot of land should have a garden with vegetables,
fruits, mangoes, bananas, to improve diet and form values.
This means that we must become architects of our own destiny.
Exactly, even for the basic reason that because of the impoverishment, borrowing
governments of all countries of Latin America, though there is the best intention from a President of the Republic
to solve problems, it will not be, because of the lack of resources, lack of operational agility, lack of political support.
To solve through the paternalistic way, all the problems of all rural households every year.
Urge to make a serious investment in the development of latent potential that exist in each citizen.
This means that we must build on our strengths and our opportunities, both in our Human Resources as
in all of the nature that God has given us.
Let's take a break and then we will continue with Investment and Development.
We continue with Investment and Development, we spoke about the importance of school gardens, home gardens,
of urban gardens, but hydroponics Engineer Barrientos, can play an important role.
What should we do to promote national hydroponic culture from childhood in urban and rural areas?
From there it's so important what mentions the Engineer Velasquez when he talks about why it's important the media
like the land is to produce. How is this of the hydroponic crop? At this time the Chimalteca Flower Cooperative,
from your support Luis, we are building 4 greenhouses a month for the incorporation of crops
of high performance of hydroponics we are going to have eggplants, tomatoes, sweet peppers, strawberries, but the most important
will be the ability of local consumption for that child to have access to nutrients and with this, be able to combat this chronic malnutrition
and I finish with this: "That's the job from the people of change" because if we don't feed these children
from birth until they are 3 years old they will not have a proper physical, intellectual and personal growth.
And here we see as fundamental the case of Productive Chains which is essential that we develop
and we create that culture among the producers. What challenges do we have in order to take this into the different rural areas of our country?
The challenge really is to believe that in Guatemala we can do interesting things and the federation FEDECOAG
for 10 years has been venturing in this issue of chains, so to say, we have 2 agroindustries:
one in Chuxj'ak in Huehuetenango and another in Machiquilan Poptun Peten, where what we are working
is the production of the farmers to bring them to a transformation
and from there we can be doing: hot peppern sauce, jams, we are making sauces, etc.
And that allows us to provide alternatives for those farmers so that they don't carry their entire production
to the market, which often will not find price and the other is that we are also teaching them
so they can start making their selection of products and with that we can bring to market a good quality products
and the third for them to enter in the agricultural industry.
Professor Polan Lacki, you have written 33 texts of your personal authorship, all are free. It can be downloaded from Internet in the pages we are seeing
they can communicate with you in the emails that are on the screen, but based on that experience
of being part of Extensionism in Brazil, to have been part of FAO, to go around the world,
of sharing good experiences and others not so very good. What we should follow, as a critical route
to achieve true Integral Rural Development? Understood from the concept that people have
their 3 meals daily, that they can have access to basic needs, to have a decent standard of living,
of education, to have the benefits of the technology of the third millennium.
Okay, I've heard that here the government pretends to take up again the extension and I think it's a well intentioned idea,
but taking up again extension without previously formed the Human Resources to really have high capacity
to influence farmers to change, may not produce the results. For that reason I believe that a fundamental aspect
is having a serious conversation with the Faculties of Agricultural Sciences, where they form the Agricultural experts, Veterinaries and Zootechnicists
so that in addition to the theoretical teaching that is very necessary, with a Masters degree, a PhD,
a postdoctorate. Put some calluses on their hands in order to learn by doing, because I can't understand
how an agronomy student who was born in the capital, studied in the capital, how he will guide tomorrow
a farmer to make a hygienic milking of the cow, if he has never milked a cow in his life.
How he will be able to teach it. How a planter is regulated to sow better plants, if he has never
never regulated the planter. How will you guide the farmer to make pruning to grafting, if he has never pruned any graft.
You have to roll up your sleeves, sweat the shirt, put on your boots, hat, go to share with farmers.
To the conclude, what countries we should take as a model to follow and of course make our own model?
But that really guide us to take advantage of that development they have had and for us to take a shortcut to arrive to
the Economic and Social Development we want.
It's difficult to answer your question but if it's about finding an institution in the region, that is in a top-level training
of their extensionists, I would say Zamorano School in Honduras, if it's to see extraordinary success.
In the matter of cooperativism, different from the Guatemalans who are also commendable in cooperatives in the South of the country
from Brazil, from the state of Santa Catarina in Panama of the Blue River. We have cooperatives there
that are extraordinarily good, producing rations for its members, who purchase chickens and industrialize it.
The buy the pigs and buy milk to make all the links in the chain, there's also in Argentina,
everywhere there is, in all the countries of Latin America without exception. There are efficient cooperatives,
efficient farmers, efficient farmers and the students from the Faculties of Agricultural Sciences
don't know about it and that's why they keep waiting for the government to solve, to subsidize, that provides credit
when this isn't the problem. The problem is in the attitude of the producer.
The attitude and the will, definitely there's a way out but that needs to improve our attitude
and express our will through concrete actions. Professor Polan Lacki, thank you very much for being in Guatemala,
in Investment and Development for sharing those experiences and we hope you come back to Guatemala.
Engineer Barrientos, former Minister of Agriculture and Cooperative, thank you very much. Bachelor Julio Recinos
former Minister of Agriculture, Director of Cooperativism in Guatemala, thank you very much for sharing.
Definitely, the Agricultural Extensionism, is a solution to the Integral Rural Development but how the experts have told us today
it is needed of all the prior preparation of the Human Resource and policy for the short, medium and long term.
Cooperativism is also an important solution for the Integral Rural Development, as we have seen this year
in "The International Year of Cooperativism" in the case of Guatemala. It represents more than 1,4000,000 cooperative members
contributing more than 45% of GDP, where 43% are women and where there's also a potential
for us to include the 70% of the Guatemalan population. So there are solutions but it's needed of the will
but above all a better attitude in order to continue developing our country.
See you next week with an interesting program as the one of today.