Planting potatoes, harvesting hope
Planting potatoes, harvesting hope.
My name is Joselina Dominguez. I live in the community Azacualpa in Intibuca-Honduras. It is a cold, forested area with stunning landscapes and warm-hearted people.
Throughout the time I, as a potato producer, started to see this cultivation as a family activity. As a result, we have increased our income by being an activity in which young and old are integrated.
This cultivation has created new roads and jobs which improved access to the various markets. In recent years, this activity has become very difficult. The import of potatoes from Guatemala, which is cheaper by production costs, is forcing us to sell at a price with which we cannot recover our expenses. It is also a risk as it affects our environment and health through the abuse of the agrochemicals.
A few years ago, my father, Anacleto Dominguez, died by planting a chemical product which was used for this cultivation. The damage to our territories, the presence of more pests and diseases of potatoes has forced us to use agrochemical products. The products are banned in other countries, but in this province department they are free to buy and are not approved by authorized personnel.
As a producer I am concerned about this situation. We would like to see that the businesses in the area offer an alternative product which costs less and has a smaller impact on the environment.
Our rivers are already infected; we cannot recover territories because they are agricultural terraces and every day we have less water resources.
We ask our government to attach the required importance to this issue so that the Intibucans (=habitants of Intibucá) in this area, which have given us so many advantages, can continue to cultivate and that it can continue to grow by being part of the folklore and tradition of us, Lencas.