Ecuador: Conpapa strengthens small producer associations

The Potato Producers Consortium (CONPAPA), which consists of 300 farmers directly and another 2,000 in seven districts of the province, inaugurated its plant to clean and sort tubers in Riobamba a few days ago.

This consortium, which entered the domestic market in 2014, is part of the groups that deliver their products to large supermarket chains and various restaurants in the country.

The main activity of this organization is strengthening small producers associations, which are responsible for producing commercial potato and seeds in Tungurahua, Chimborazo, and Bolivar.

The collection center is located in the area of Troje, south of Riobamba. They deliver more than 3,000 pounds of different potato varieties every month, such as super chola, fri potato, and the Carolina and Victoria varieties, which are the most requested in the market.

Jose Usay, manager of Conpapa, said they were currently working to deliver the product to an Iranian group that requested 120,000 kilos per month.

"Before shipment, the tuber is washed, sorted and packed by our staff, applying strict hygiene processes to ensure it has an excellent quality. The teams perform this work efficiently, providing added value to one of the most representative products of the region," he said.

Usay also noted that another objective of Conpapa was to improve marketing conditions and strengthen the product's direct sales system.

"Producers sell their harvest to the organization, which is in charge of selling it to final consumers, thereby helping them achieve a higher price than in the wholesale market outlets," he stated.

At present, a project to sell processed potatoes and chips of various colors in Tungurahua is being carried out as a strategy to add value to the product.

Product Treatment
The equipment of the new unit allows automating work, as the product enters a concave rubber conveyor belt and is taken to a washing machine.

There a tank system immerses the tuber and cleans it through pressured water jets. Following this, the product passes to a band where it receives a 65 degree Celsius air stream to dry it.

"We have always delivered a quality product. We classify the best product and offer a potato rich in nutrients that is clean and ready for consumption. This new equipment will allow us to do things more quickly," said Juan Ortiz, president of Conpapa in Chimborazo.

The equipment costs $142,490, $101,031 of which were provided by the Institute of Popular Economy and Solidarity and $41,459 by the Conpapa cooperative.

The infrastructure of the warehouses and storage is a $153,340.10 investment of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Javier Ponce, Minister of Agriculture, said that this cooperative was a clear sign that the partnership pays off.

"We give our full support to these organizations because they create jobs and contribute to national development," he said.


Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber