Enhancing Entrepreneurship of Garifuna Women

Approximately 98,000 Garífuna people live in Honduras, mostly concentrated on the North Coast. Between 2011 and 2014, TechnoServe provided technical and business development assistance to 11 groups of Garifuna women in the departments of Colón and Atlántida – representing 300 members – to improve the quality and productivity of cassava and yucca. TechnoServe has also trained farmer groups in processing, value addition and marketing, allowing the women to process cassava and sell their products to local and export markets. Using equipment donated by the PIMCO Foundation, the women increased their production by 400 percent, from 200 to 1000 pounds of casabe bread processed per day. The groups also increased the productivity of yucca by 265 percent, with the introduction of three new yucca varieties imported from Nicaragua and improved agronomic techniques. The cassava produced by the 11 groups is sold under the company Wabagari, which belongs to a Garifuna leader and exports its products to New York, Los Angeles and in Honduras to Walmart and Pizza Hut.