The project was implemented in the Boca Costa and Peten regions in Guatemala and in Chiapas in Mexico. The overall objective of the project was to provide community groups with a more remunerative and sustainable economic alternative by introducing an improved and more organised chain from production to marketing, geared towards the development of a profitable tropical fruits industry. Pilot farms were established with financial and technical support to demonstrate the feasibility of a more remunerative and sustainable production/marketing system for the indigenous communities. The support provided includes the development of irrigation systems, building human capacities, the dissemination of good agricultural practices, including crop management through farmers’ organisations, the provision of improved planting materials and other suitable inputs, and the enhancement of their marketing capabilities. Diversification into fruit farming, especially exotic varieties generated more employment for the communities. The development of perennial fruit plantations contributes to enhanced soil conservation and water management and to reduced human encroachment and less slash and burn method in the natural forests. All project activities were completed. Main achievements of the project include the organization of more than 3,500 farmers into some 75 cooperatives and the supply of more than 100,000 fruit plants to these farmers, accompanied with horticultural training. The State Government of the Chiapas has invested USD 60 million into a large scale expansion of the CFC pilot project.

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