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Honduras: Cofrutco's orange harvest begins

Executives of the Fruit Company (Cofrutco), a company that is one hundred percent from Honduras, and government representatives, through the Economic Development Secretariat (SDE), inaugurated the new harvest of oranges in this prosperous department.

Cofrutco has been present in that area for more than 20 years, which, with the help of 2 thousand independent citrus farmers, has translated into development and work for the region.

The company accounts for one hundred direct jobs and more than 400 indirect jobs during the harvest season. Every year this company processes 70 thousand metric tons of orange, 50 thousand tons of which are acquired from citrus farmers of the Aguan Valley, and the remaining 20 thousand from 800 hectares of their own farms.

According to Cofrutco executives, each year they purchase 175 million oranges to 2 thousand independent citrus farmers.

Each year, the company produces 2,400 metric tons of concentrate for the local market and for export.

At harvest time, Cofrutco injects more than 80 million lempiras into the region's economy, boosting trade, improving the living standards of Hondurans, and strengthening the finances of the municipality of Sonaguera with the payment of taxes.

This company has a massive nursery program that is at the service of citrus farmers to contribute spreading disease-free oranges.

In addition, Cofrutco implements support programs for the expansion and growth of independent citrus farmers; for example, through subsidies and financing for the donation of fertilizers and fumigation inputs.

One of their most outstanding programs is the financing of producers through advances on purchase of annual production of oranges to be used in the development of the farms, as well as lease of land for orange groves with high technology systems.

Investment for L500 million
The representative of Cofrutco, Luis Jose Kafie, expressed his satisfaction with the new harvest, but said that they had many challenges ahead of them.

The Honduran concentrate is used to prepare Sula juices for national and international consumption.

"We are implementing a plan to strengthen the citrus sector which consists of planting approximately 1,410 hectares of own farms in the Aguan Valley to promote, motivate and encourage more independent citrus farmers in this area to do the same," he said.

This will require an investment of around 500 million lempiras, and generate some 300 direct jobs in the harvest season and 900 indirect jobs, Kafie said.

In turn, the representative of Sonaguera's citrus producers, Julio Mejia, thanked Cofrutco for their support to small and medium citrus farmers in the area and spoke about the efforts being made to combat the Huan Long Bing (HLB) disease that has been causing damage to the orange plantations.

Meanwhile, the head of the Department of Economic Development (SDE), Arnaldo Castillo, congratulated the citrus sector of Sonaguera, an area that is considered the orange capital because of its high potential, and highlighted the government's commitment to support small and medium producers.


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