This is our last week in Peru and my last day in Tarapoto. I am flying back to Lima tonight. I am feeling sad to leave the San Martín area, the TechnoServe people, and all the coffee and cocoa producers we’ve met. I am also sad to leave the tropical weather and all the beautiful vegetation (including bugs!). TechnoServe has been doing great work in the region and I am so glad to be a part of it.

We spent the end of last week and part of the weekend working with Victor Ganoza, TechnoServe Peru Country Director, to finalize the presentation and documentation of the project. Victor joined us from Lima for three days and was very useful for our project and quite happy with the progress we had made.

On Friday night, we went to Emilio’s (a TechnoServe employee) house to watch the USA-Peru soccer game. The atmosphere was fantastic and the US won. We also had the opportunity to meet Emilio’s family, which was great!

We definitely put a lot of work and energy into developing a financing model and cash flows for providing fertilizer to local farmers as well as enhancing productivity. Productivity is key; farmers can produce up to five times more product if they use the right techniques and fertilizer products. Education and training are a big part of TechnoServe’s mission, similar to other NGOs working here in Peru.

It was very important for us to understand each of the players and the supplier chain(s) including importers, distributors, cooperative, finance entities, coffee/cocoa exporters and the farmers.

We’ve learned so much about coffee, cocoa and Peru, yet also the culture in South America during the last few weeks. Everything here is so different from my life in London including the weather, noise, smell, humidity, communication, transportation…

This area of Peru is growing, and it provides a lot of opportunities for people. I hope to one day come back here with my family.

The Volunteer

Alain Mandy

SVP, Shareholder Services & Funds Administration

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