Remarks from Ambassador Laura F. Dogu on Launch of the USAID and Heifer International Dairy Sector Partnership

One of the things I like most about Honduras is its food.

I love the warm tortillas with cheese, the baleadas with butter and grated cheese, and the sweet plantains with cream.

Well, so many things that I’d better stop because it’s going to make us all hungry here!

As we can see, dairy products are an essential part of the Honduran diet.

And why not say it, of all of us who live in this beautiful country.

The dairy industry creates nutritious and delicious products and ingredients.

In addition, it boosts the Honduran economy by creating jobs, financing government services and supporting family businesses.

That is why it makes perfect sense to invest in it.

Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Laura Suazo, President of FENAGH Anabel Gallardo, Heifer International Country Director Marco Machado.

The dairy sector in Honduras involves five hundred thousand people and ninety-five thousand families.

In recent years, this sector has been affected by the pandemic, hurricanes, and increases in input prices.

Small and medium producers are the most affected.

They have to choose: between selling the milk at very low prices, or losing their production due to lack of refrigeration options.

This is a true “lose or lose” situation.

What way is that to compete and do business?

For years, small producers have had difficulty reaching the end customer.

To that we add difficulty in accessing credit, little assistance for the producer and lack of innovation.

All this limits the potential of the dairy sector in Honduras.

Today, the United States, through USAID and in collaboration with Heifer International, is launching an alliance to comprehensively address these challenges.

Together with Heifer, we are going to support fifteen thousand producers and invest eight million dollars to improve the performance of milk producers and processors.

This initiative focuses on connecting small and medium producers with Milk Collection and Cooling Centers.

It will also connect these producers with regional companies that sell dairy products at multiple points of sale such as grocery stores and supermarkets.

Minister Suazo, count on our support in this and other initiatives that strengthen the agricultural sector in Honduras.

Special thanks to our partners at Heifer International for joining us in supporting the dairy sector in Honduras.

We hope that this initiative led by the private sector, with the support of the Government of Honduras, marks a before and after for the dairy sector.

I end by inviting more companies in the dairy sector chain.

Join this initiative!

Thank you very much.