-46. O 07
COMPARISON OF THREE FRUIT AND
VEGETABLE EXPORT OPERATIONS IN
Submitted to the Agency for International
Development (AID), Honduras under the
Purchase Order: Honduras P 86 80,
522 0120 3 70074 1.
Prepared by :
June 15, 1981
June 15, 1981
Please find enclosed the report, "Comparison
of Three Fruit and Vegetable Export Operations in
Central America" which I am submitting under the
Purchase Order, Honduras P 86 80,' 522 0120 -
3 70074 1.
S. b ml- elibasis
Table of Contents
List of Tables .
Introduction . .
Case Studies . .
Production Area Description .
Producer Characteristics. .
Institutional Involvement .
Production. . .. .
Practices. . .
Planting Activity. .
Problems . .
Packing . . .
Description of Operation
Problems .... ..
Transportation . .
Marketing . . .
Export . . .
Results . .
Local. . . .
Problems . .
Results. . .
Financing . . .
Description . .
Problems . .
Guatemalan Melons . .
Historical Background .
Production Area Description .
Producer Characteristics. .
Institutional Involvement .
Production. . . .
Practices. . .
Planting Activity .
Problems . .
Packing . . .
Description of Operation
Problems . .
Transportation . .
Table of Contents Continued.
Marketing. . . . .. 23
Export . . . .. 23
Local . . . .. 24
Financing . . . ... 24
Comayagua Cucumbers . . . 25
Historical Background .. .. . 25
Production Area Description . .. 27
Producer Characteristics . .. 28
Institutional Involvement . . 29
Production . . . . 30
Practices .. . 30
Planting Activity . . .. 31
Results . . ... 32
Problems . . ... 33
Packing . . . . 34
Description of Operation ... 34
Results . . . .. 35
Problems . . ... 35
Transportation . . . 36
Service Description . .. 36
Results . . . 37
Problems. . . . ... 37
Marketing . . . . 37
Export. . . . .. 37
Results . . . ... 38
Problems . . . 38
Local . . . .. 39
Results . . . 39
Problems . . . .. 39
Financing . . . . 40
Costs and Returns. . .. .. ... 41
Limitations. . . . 43
Conclusions . . . . . 44
Notes :. . . . . . 46
Appendix A 1 . . .. . ... 47
Appendix A 2 . . . . .. 51
Appendix A 3 . . . . .. 56
Appendix B 1 . . . . .. 60
Appendix B 2 . . . . 61
Appendix B 3 . . . . .. 62
Bibliography . .
List of Tables
1 Yields by zone in Choluteca. . .
2 Yearly planted and lost area of melons in
Choluteca. . . . .
3 UATM Personnel turnover. . .....
4 PATSA's guaranteed base prices . .
5 Number of members, dependents, and number
irrigated hectares for each cooperative .
6 MRN Project personnel turnover . .
7 Cucumber and tomato yields. . .
8 AID grant fund allocation in Comayagua .
9 1979 FOB prices for cucumbers in Pompano B
Florida. . . . . .
10 Prices, quantities and costs of cucumber s
in the Honduran market . . .
11 Grower costs and returns 1980 81 .
12 Export Firm Cost and Returns, 1980 81
A great many people and organizations contributed to
this study and the author wishes to express to these his
To AID/Honduras for its financial support, especially
Mr. Charles Oberbeck, then the AID's Comayagua project
officer for his cooperation and advice. Mr. Denis Ramirez,
MRN's project coordinator, was very generous with infor-
mation and encouragement. To Mr. Miguel Caceres at MRN's
Sectoral Planning Directorate (DPS) for his discussions of
the Choluteca melon project. Mr. Ricardo Frohmader, General
Manager of PATSA was very helpful in discussing the problems
in the export of perishable fru-its and vegetables and for
providing valuable information. The UATM Head,
Mr. Cecilio Ferrufino, provided invaluable information on
different aspects of technical assistance to farm cooperatives.
My sincere appreciation to Mr. David Warren, President of
CAPCO, who provided invaluable information in many aspects
of industry under study and for his cooperation and en-
Many more persons have in some way contributed to this
study. Some of them are:. Mrs. Ma de los Angeles de Breve'
of DPS; Mr. Renato Madrid and Mr. Fransisco Avarenga, Ex-
tension Agents of the MRN's export project; Carlos Funes
and Mr. Jose Elias Ortega of UATM; Mr. Freddy Araujo and
Arnoldo Pinel Milla of MRN's Regional Planning Division in
Choluteca; Mr. Hernan Pinto, President of CRESHUL;
Mr. Jorge Murrey of PATSA; Mr. Oscar Lionel Orozco of
lICTA. Mr. Garret Denbleyken and Mr. Carlos Giron of CAPCO.
Special thanks to Miss-Emelie Labeur for her skillfulness
in typing the final draft and final report and to
Mr. Armando Medina for his encouragement and advice through-
out the study period.
Cucumber and melon production are labor intensive activities.
Government institutions in Honduras and Guatemala view the pro-
duction for export of cucumbers and melons as a means of increasing
rural employment and income.
The purpose of this study is to focus on production,
packing, transportation and marketing related problems encoun-
tered in the establishment of an export industry for the U.S.
winter market pf slicing cucumbers in Comayagua, Honduras and
cantaloupe melons in Choluteca, Honduras and Zacapa, Guatemala.
Emphasis has been made on the Honduran operations, primarily that
of cucumbers and less on Guatemalan melons.
Specifically, as presented in Attachment A of AID's PIO/T
this study will answer the following questions:
A. 1. How do actual costs (production, packing, trans-
portation, and marketing) compare among the three
2. How do gross and net revenues compare?
B 1. What are the management arrangements in each
2. What are the institutional agreements and relation-
C. 1. What are the socio-economic characteristics of
the producer in each area (general description-
size, incomes, literacy)?
2. Are they members of cooperatives?
D. What are the salient characteristics of each export
operation that contribute to its success/problems
in vegetable export relative to what would be
expected given only cost/price considerations?
That is, how do the different organizations compare
in terms of profitability and in terms of other goals
such as improvement in the quality of life of
campesino vegetable producers?
Two methods of data collection were utilized: non-survey
type interviews and published materials for or by each operation.
The authors experience in the Comayagua cucumber export
operation provided the initial background knowledge as to what
some of the potential problems and conditions that could be
encountered in each operation. After an initial visit to
each operation it was possible to formulate specific questions
that could be relayed either through personal interviews or
through published information.
In all, four visits were made to the Choluteca operation,
four to the Comayagua operation and two visits to Guatemala.
A description of the two data and information collection methods
Personal interviews were made at the grower, exporter and
institutional levels. The number of interviews with growers
were; four in Choluteca, four in Comayagua and three in Guatemala.
The number of growers interviewed and the thoroughness of the
interviews were less than desired and it is hoped that this
will not hamper substantially the final results.
A series of interviews were made with all top management
personnel of PATSA and CAPCO, the export firms in Choluteca and
Zacapa, Guatemala, respectively. Both the Head of MRN's export
project and SFC's technical assistant Manager for the MRN's
export project were interviewed on different occasions.
Additionally, all extension agents in each operation that were
employed at the time of the visits were interviewed.
Personnel from all supportive institutions currently in-
volved in each operation were interviewed. These institutions
are: MRN's Sectorial Planning Division and the Southern Re-
gional Agricultural Directorate (DARS), INA's southern offices,
BANADESA; Difocoop, CRESHSUL, all in Choluteca, for the
Comayagua project; MRN, BANADESA, AID, and SFC; and in Guatemala,
ICTA, ICAITI and ROCAP.
Most of the published matter acquired deal with both of
the Honduran operations. A limited amount of published material
was obtained from Guatemala. The variety of published matter
ranged from internal reports to theses and feasibility studies.
All publications utilized in this study are accounted for in
the reference section of this report.
Like all.studies, there are various constraints which need
to be considered when defining the scope of worth, and this
study is no exception. Considerable limitations were encountered
in transportation to and within the three study areas. In
most of the interviews made with growers the author was accom-
panied by one of the extension agents in charge. This may have
caused bias of some responses coming from the interviewers.
Time and transportation constraints also limited the number
of growers interviewed. At the exporter and institutional
levels, transportation constraints were less as these are
located in cities where transportation means are readily
Published matter acquired, although plentiful did not
provide all the information expected for some of the problem
areas. Relatively less published data and information was
gathered from the Guatemala operation, hence, the relatively
less emphasis made on the Guatemala operation in this report.
A further set back in the realization of this study was
the time constraint in the final stages as the author is
currently enrolled as a full-time student in the Graduate
Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of
The production of melons for the United States market
in Choluteca, Honduras dates back to the mid 1960s. The
first melon exports werelmade in 1965-66 by four farmers in
'the Departments of Valle and Choluteca in the southern part
of Honduras. Approximately 350 manzanas of cantaloupes were
planted which yielded over 11,000 pounds per manzana with a
67 percent export quality fruit. Planting and transport
problems caused the financial failure of this activity.
In 1970 the National Agrarian Institute (INA) iniciated
a melon export project in order to help bring down high
unemployment during the dry season (November April) in
southern Honduras. An Israeli mission was brought to make
agronomic experiments on melons for export. The mission's
mayor conclusions were that the area was apt for melon pro-
duction for export during the high price period of January,
February, and March in the United States and that due to the
high water retention quality of the soil, irrigation expenses
could be saved. In the 1970-71 season 428 manzanas were
planted by peasants of the land reform program working in
cooperatives and-individual farmers. The outcome of this pro-
ject was a loss of about $70,000 due mainly to various pro-
Another activity was developed in 1971-72 by INA and
other government institutions which included: The Ministry of
Agriculture (MRN) and the National Development Bank (BNF).
The final result was a loss of 82 manzanas out of 412 manzanas
planted and $100,000.
In the period of 1973-74 another activity was developed
having results similar to the previous years but the main
difference was that the major problems were caused by a strike
of the United States Transportation Workers and the Oil Embargo.
It was not until 1975-76 that a major break through was
made in the melon export activity.
The company PATSA (Productos Acuaticos y Terrestres
Sociedad Anonima, then called PASA) a subsidiary of the United
Fruit Company, commonly known for its Chiquita brand bananas,
was able to get a project going by way of the government. An
"agreement"3 was signed by MRN, INA, BNF, and PATSA, where each
would have the following responsibilities:
MRN: Provide technical assistance, and machinery for agri-
INA: Provide technical assistance, and to promote melon
production and organization for groups belonging to the land
reform program. It would also provide the packing shed for
BNF: Provide credit to farmers and supply chemical and
PATSA: Establish prices for melons and buy the exportable
production. Install a packing line for melons and provide
Five production seasons have passed since the signing of
the agreement and there still appears to be many problems. A
S-brief review is necessary.
;n 1975-76, 520 manzanas were planted and 435 manzanas
were harvested with an average yield of 138 50 pound boxes
per manzana.Over $95,000 was made in profits by farmers and
a $125,000 loss for PATSA.
For the period 1976-77, 1,307 manzanas of melons were
planted and 982 manzanas harvested, with an average yield of
96 boxes per manzana. Net returns for production was over
$133,000 and over $115,000 for PATSA.
In the production year 1977-78, 690 manzanas were planted
and 441 harvested with an average yield of 150 boxes per
manzana. No profit was made by farmers and PATSA lost around
In 1978-79, 496 manzanas were planted and 395 manzanas
were harvested. The average yield was 142 boxes per manzana.
A loss of over $59,950 was taken up by farmers and PATSA made
In the period of 1979-80, 351 manzanas were planted and
284.5 manzanas harvested. Over $27,000 was made by farmers
and PATSA made over $98,000.
Production Area Description
The Departments of Choluteca and Valle are where the melon
export operation is located. Choluteca being the main area.
These departments are located in the southernmost part of
Honduras bordering Nicaragua on the southeast, the Pacific Ocean
on the south and El Salvador on the west.
The Panamerican Highway passes through this area to the
neighboring countries. Another highway connects this one to
the main cities north and the Caribbean ports. Over 700
square miles of the area is adequate for agriculture. The
altitude in this area is 49 meters above sea level.
Average monthly temperatures vary between 27.5 in October
and 30.7 in April, with a daily average variation of 11.1 degrees
centigrade. Total yearly average precipitation is 1,948
millimeters of which 409 millimeters fall in the October -
February period. Seven millimeters fall from November through
February. The average yearly relative humidity is 65.71 per-
cent, 60.12 percent during the melon production period and
49.5 percent in February.
The predominant crops grown are: melons, sugar cane,
cotton, sesame, and watermelon. Two rivers flow through
this area: the Choluteca and the Negro. .-Irrigation systems
are scarce and only the land at the sides of the rivers are
irrigated. The soils are fertile and land is generally flat.
The great majority of the melon producers belong to one 4
of three groups: small farmers, cooperatives, or asentamientos.
Although not much data was gathered on income levels,
literacy, and farm size, an approximation-may be sufficient.
The number of members in a cooperative or an asentamiento
is between 30 50 on the average with two hectares per member.
Farm size of an individual producer is between 4 10 hectares.
Literacy levels among the three groups is low. Generally
20 percent of the members of a cooperative or asentamiento
can read and write. Many individual producers are illiterate.
Income levels are low. Minimum wage is at $1.50 per day
of eight hours. Some activities require wages of up to $2.50
The amount of land set aside for melon production is between
10 and 20 manzanas for cooperatives and 5 to 10 manzanas for
The distinction between an asentamiento and a cooperative
is in that cooperatives work collectively while asentamientos
may or may not. Usually cooperatives are more amenable to credit
institutions and therefore, have a slight advantage in crop
production and infrastructure creation. Usually these asenta-
mientos with better organization and land are encouraged to
become cooperatives. For the sake of this paper no difference
will be made between them. When referring to cooperatives it
will imply asentamientos also.
Farmers engaged in the melon project today, are relatively
experienced in melon production. The majority of the producers
are closely examined by BNF. Only those farmers with good
qualification are permitted to enter into the project loan
The degree of institutional involvement in the Choluteca
melon project is considerably high. The following institutions
are all involved in this activity:
MRN: Responsible of giving and directing technical
assistance to the project.
INA: Provides technical and organizational advise to
cooperatives; installed the packing shed and warehouse.
BANADESA: (Previously called BNF) Is in charge of pro-
viding loans and keeping accounts for the cooperatives. It
also provides chemical inputs at lower than market prices.
DIFOCOOP: (Directorate of Cooperative Development) Pro-
vides legal and administrative advice to cooperatives. It also
cooperates in the marketing and control of local sales along with
the Melon Growers Cooperative (CREHSUL).
It is estimated that the number of personnel provided by
these institutions year round varies between 10 15.
A smaller number of government personnel is provided
occasionally to evaluate reports and give technical advice.
Five to six vehicles and two motorcycles are provided for
the project year round.
Every year there is a report given out by the Melon Technical
Assistance Unit (UATM) on the production activities of the year.
Two evaluations have been made by the Sectional Planning
Department of MRN but no indepth economic or financial project
analyses have been made.
Most of the land for the 1979-80 season was planted in
mid to late Eovember. Land preparation is done with tractors
and with animal power to a lesser extent. Good land preparation
is essential for melons since humidity must be captured as
irrigation is not used in most plantings.
Planting is done by hand or mechanized. Seeds are planted
0.5 0.75 meters apart and in rows 1.50 2.0 meters apart
depending on soil type.
Fertilization is preplant applied. Three hundred pounds
of 12-24-12 formula, 200 pounds of potassium nitrate and
150 pounds of urea are used per manzana. Soil insecticide is
applied before planting or just after. A pest control calendar
is used where insecticides and fungicides are applied every
six days. EPA approved pesticides are used just before and
Fruits are twisted one-fourth of their circumference
three to four times during fruit growth to prevent soil spots.
Variety trials have been conducted in Choluteca by
SIATSA (Servicios para la Investigacion Agricola Tropical
S.A. now the research division of the United Brands) and
have shown SJ-45 variety cantaloupes to be more responsive.
This variety has been in use for several years.
Cantaloupes are harvested one to three times a day in order
to prevent overripening. Cantaloupes are harvested into sacks
and are preselected in the field before final selection at the
Most plantings in the 1979 80 season started in mid
November and ended in late February. Out of the 351 manzanas
planted of both honeydew and cantaloupe melons 284.5 manzanas
were harvested, a 19 percent loss. This was due mainly to,
either lack of humidity in the soil or an excess of it.
Plantings were made in three areas. Zone one and two are
basically cooperatives and zone three is made up of small
individual farmers. The distribution of planting loss was
about equal for the three. Average yields for zones one, two
and three were 129,55 60 pound boxes per manzana, 96 boxes
per manzana, and 52 boxes per manzana of cantaloupes, res-
pectively. (See Table 1). The low yields in zone three were
apparently due to unchecked production sold to commercial
Table l.--Yields by zone in Choluteca.
Exporta Rejectb Export Rejectd
Boxes Boxes Boxes Boxes
Zone One 13,340 1,244 11,560 -----
Zone Two 10,729 2,248 ---- -----
Zone Three 1,190 ---- 8,930 -----
TOTAL 25,257 3,492 20,490 ----
a 55 60 pound box
25 melons per box
c 25 29 pound box
No information recorded
Zone one had no substantial problems other than the
planted area lost. Zone two had severe problems with insect
control and some producers had problems with disease control.
Individual producers in zone three had no technical or
financial assistance from the project. Production practices
were somewhat different from the other zones and yields per
manzana were actually low.
The principle problem in production appears to be the
non-irrigation system of growing melons. Nineteen percent
of the land planted was lost basically because of this system.
Table 2 shows the percentage of planted land lost in the last
Table 2.--Yearly planted and lost area of melons in Choluteca.
Season Manzanas Planted Manzanas Lost Percent Lost
1975/76 520 85 16.5
1976/77 1307 325 24.5
1977/78 690 249 36.1
1978/79 496 101 20.4
1979/80 351 66.5 19.0
A more rigorous pest control system is needed to prevent
damage of fruit. A UATM technician said that both insect
damage and either too low or high sugar content in melons were
the principle causes of export culls. Mildew attack which
were considerable in zone two caused low sugar content in
cantaloupes. High sugar content is found in overripened
melons. The same technician also said that hired labor or
cooperative members are reluctant to work on Sundays, Saturday
afternoon or extra hours on weekdays, even though higher wages
were offered. This, he'said, added to the reduction in yield
and increased culls due to high sugar content since cantaloupes
overrippen in a few hours.
Another production related problem identified was the
fact that government employees in the project are very un-
stable, which adversely affects the performance of the pro-
ject. (See Table 3). The general belief of government
technicians was that they were underpaid. Inadequate super-
vision and evaluation of employees is not surprising of the
government and the melon project did not appear to be an ex-
Table 3.--UATM Personnel Turnover.
Season Number of Employeesa Outflow Inflow
1975/76 12 3 -
1976/77 13 5 4
1977/78 13 7 5
1978/79 11 4 5
1979/80 9 5 2
aDoes not include PATSA's technicians.
Description of Operation
The packing shed is located in the outskirts of the
Choluteca Department Capital where urban labor is available
readily. The packing shed measures 26 by 60 meters, is made
up of concrete floors and columns, with a metal framed roof
covered by zinc panel. Small pickups deliver the fruit on
one side of the packing house and pick up the culls on the
adjacent side. Refrigerated trailers are loaded on the
opposite side of deliveries. Offices are on two levels, one
of which overlooks the packing lines. A large warehouse is
used to store boxes and other materials.
After preselection in the field the fruit is selected
for quality and size. A refractometer is used occasionally
to check sugar content. Melons are then packed in two-thirds
wire bound crates fighting between 55 60 pounds. Crushed
ice is put on the top layer of cantaloupes in the crate and
are then loaded into the refrigerated trailers. Appendix A
shows the classification norms attached to each contract.
The packing shed and the warehouse is owned by INA and
the packing line by PATSA. A rent contract for five years
was signed by PATSA for the use of the packing shed and expires
in 1981. The packing shed is managed by a person who has had
much experience with melon export in Mexico and one technician
that supervises packing and selection. A secretary and another
technician make up the total PATSA personnel in Choluteca.
The cantaloupes that do not meet export quality are taken
by the producer to CREHSUL's installation next to the packing
shed. There, they are counted and are pooled with the fruit
of other producers and sold on a per unit basis. Three or
more persons from CREHSUL, INA, and DIFOCOOP manage this
operation. Many intermediaries meet there with small trucks
to buy melons for the Hondurian market. They decide on a
price with the CREHSUL personnel. CREHSUL charges a $50.00
fee per member plus $0.15 per box tax for cooperative expenses
and growth. These revenues will also be used to pay off the
packing shed which is to be managed by CREHSUL starting in
the 1981 82 season.
PATSA's guaranteed base prices are now negotiated with
CREHSUL prior to planting, where as prior to CREHSUL's for-
mation, prices were negotiated between PASTSA, the Minister
and Directors of MRN, INA, and BANADESA. In previous years
prices were set by periods and sizes only. For the 1980 81
season prices will vary by period, sizes, and by volumes as
shown in Table 4. This price system helps spread PATSA's
fixed costs and stimulates farmers in producing more and
earlier in the season.
One of the principle problems confronting the melon pro-
ject now is whether or not to hand over the packing operation
to CREHSUL. No CREHSUL personnel has been trained in managing
and supervising the operation as to now. PATSA's general
manager appeared to be pleased with this idea and said that
PATSA would in that event maintain control over quality at the
The low levels of production in previous years have in-
creased the fixed costs per box related to the packing operation
since the packing house infrastructure, rent and overhead costs
are very high. See Appendix B.
Although December prices for cantaloupes are the highest
in the season, planting for this period is risky. Cantaloupes
take nine weeks until the first harvest and three weeks of
harvest. If total production is to be harvested in December
melons must be planted by the third week of October when late
rains are still strong. Mildew attacks arise under wet con-
ditions and may reduce yields substantially.
Table 4.--PATSA's guaranteed base prices.
1980 81 Cantaloupe
Volumea 18-30b 12-15,32
1-5,000 8.50 4.00
5,000-7,500 9.00 4.50
7,501-10,000 9.50 4.50
10,001-over 10.00 5.00
Jan. 1 15
Jan. 16 31
Period 18-30 12-15,32
Feb. 1-7 6.00
Feb. 8-15 4.50
Feb. 16 -
1980 81 Honeydew
Jan. 1-Feb. 28
March 1-beyond 4 8
1979 80 Cantaloupe
1979 80 Honeydew
March 1-April 15
a Combined volume of columns 2 and 3.
Box with 18 to 30 melons; third column would mean 12 to 15
melons or 32 melons per box.
No data have been gathered on the percentage of defects
on melons not exported thereby limiting research in this area.
PATSA has been using refrigerated trailers that United
Brands operates or from CCT (Coordinated Caribbean Transport-
a division of the United States Freight Company). PATSA's
manager indicated that United Brand trailers were more reliable
as far as timeliness and performance. Trailers used have a
loading capacity of 40,000 45,000 pounds. The box capacity
per trailer varies between 695 and 705 boxes.
Since no cold storage room is available at the packing
shed in Choluteca, trailers are ordered early at no extra
cost. This assures that the fruit temperature is brought down
fast and secures maximum shelf life.
Ships depart from the Port of Cortez twice a week and
arrive at Gulfport, Mississippi or Miami, Florida two to
three days later.
Usually PATSA's melons are shipped to Gulfport, Mississippi
and are then transported in trailers to New Jersey where United
Produce (UP) operates. United Produce is a subsidiary of the
United Brand Company, the main distributor of Chiquita Brand
bananas. Although bananas are the main product distributed,
marketing facilities for melons have been provided since PATSA's
formation. It is not known if trailers are sold in places below
New Jersey before arriving at United Produce's Distribution
Center. Most likely, trailers are received in New Jersey, re-
loaded according to client orders and then distributed in the
northeastern market, i.e. the northeastern market for melons
is the single most important market in the United States.
Commission charges of United Produce runs between 10 12 percent.
In the 1979 80 season 25,229 boxes of cantaloupe melons
were exported and sold at a weighted average price of $ 24.00,
the highest of all seasons.
CREHSUL is in charge of the selling activity at the Honduran
market level. Intermediaries have trucks ranging from small
two ton capacity pickups to ten ton trucks. Melons are trans-
ported in bulk and are distributed throughout the country.
Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula are main markets and La Ceiba
the furtherest away (486 kilometers), is second in importance.
The intermediaries may have distribution facilities at the
market place or may sell their produce to distributors.
The market place is made up of individual sellers which
may or may not be specialized in the areas of fruits, vegetables,
and grains. Usually, these market place sellers have a com-
bination of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Individual market
place sellers and supermarket produce managers buy from dis-
tributors at the market place.
The Honduran market as well as other Central American
markets for melons is limited, production of melons for ex-
port is now being carried out in all Central American countries.
This situation does not provide Choluteca growers with alter-
native markets in the area for their melons. Prices received
by CREHSUL for melons usually vary between $ 0.01 and $ 0.25
per unit depending on volumes available. As the project expands
the price for local market melons will drop accordingly.
Net returns to a manzana of cantaloupe melons from sales
in the local market are in the neighborhood of $ 100.00. Not
all melons are sold by CREHSUL. Although, not a generalized
behavior, intermediaries will buy melons off individual
CREHSUL member farmers at the farmgate. Melons bought at the
farmgate are of lower quality than those sold by CREHSUL since
these are the culls out-graded at the farm.
Strict quality control on melons and better cropping
methods may prove effective in lowering the percentage of
non-export melons. This, coupled with a good price setting
ability by CREHSUL's marketing personnel may prove successful
in increasing net returns to farmers.
Over one million cantaloupes in 1978 79 and over
425,000 in 1979 80 were sold by CREHSUL at an average price
of $ 0.042 and $ 0.075 per unit, respectively.
BANADESA is the main source of funds for the production
activity. Some farmers provide their own funds. BANADESA has
provided one official as a permanent member of UATM to assist
the credit program. As a supportive means CREHSUL has formulated
a regulation with BANADESA whereby a member that has not fully
paid back a previous loan will be returned only 40 percent
of current year's gross returns.
A UATM member said that although the credit program of
BANADESA has been successful, occasionally some farmers are
not able to plant due to delays in credit approval.
An economist in MRN working on an evaluation of the
melon project was concerned by the fact that farm wages included
in the budget formulated by UATM have not increased in four years.
Farmers seldom keep accurate accounts on production costs and
input usage, making it difficult to determine if current farm
budgets are adequate and if individual or by class budgets are
Guatemala has by far more experience in export operations
than does Honduras. Initial trials in export of perishable
products began in 1969-70. The following institutions were
involved in this first operation. CARSVO Cooperativa
Agropecuaria Regional de Servicio s Varios de Oriente, FYRCO -
a Guatemalan export brokerage firm, Orbit Sales (OS) a
United States vegetable broker operating in Pompano Beach,
Florida, ROCAP the Regional Office for Central America and
Panama, from the United States Agency for International
Development (AID), and ICAITI Instituto Centroamericano de
Investigation y Tecnologia Industrial.
The 1969-70 trial produced 516 boxes of cucumbers and
400 boxes of melons exported to Pompano Beach, Florida. A
loss of $5,000 was incurred dueto problems in the basic export
In 1970-71 OS and FYRCO formed EXIMCO and decided to in-
crease production of cucumbers. The Banco Centroamericano
de.Integracion Economica (BCIE) provided the funds to EXIMCO,
exporting 31,212 boxes of cucumbers. Due to lack of sufficient
refrigerated trailers EXIMCO tightened quality control causing
lower export yields and ultimately a loss to EXIMCO between
$20,000 and $40,000.
In the 1971-72 season a new company ELCO, S.A. took over
the packing plant used by the deteriorated EXIMCO. The
Guatemalan government provided assistance through: INDECA -
Instituto Nacional de Comercializacion Agricola, DIGESA -
Direccion General de Servicio Agricolas and BANDESA Banco
Nacional de Desarrallo Agricola.
Two cucumber export activities were initiated in 1971.
CARSVO ELCO operating in Teculutan Zacapa and the "La Fragua"
Cooperative exporting directly to a United States broker in
Florida first, and later that year through ELCO operating in
the La Fragua area also in Zacapa. In addition, ELCO planted
its own cucumbers. In total 479 hectares were harvested.
Forty hectares were lost due to irrigation and variety problems.
Total boxes received at the packing sheds was 97,182 for an
area of 230 hectares and $79,546.44 was lost by the CARSVO
growers and $177,240 by the La Fragua Cooperative. Low yields
and marginal cucumber quality is believed to be the cause of the
For the period of 1973 74 different export operations were
developed. Three melon operations and one of okra. The export
company BASICO that had been operating since the 1972 73 season
made arrangements with the La Fragua Cooperative to produce
melons. BASICO also grew its own melons and okra. Another
group called the Promotora Agricola Zacapaneca, R.L. also
engaged in the export of melons through a broker in Florida.
Over 2,186 metric tons were exported from 256 hectares planted
of different melon cultivars. The average export yield was
8.54 metric tons per hectare with an 81.5 percent export
quality. The La Fragua Cooperative made $16,710 from 26
hectares of melons although harvesting took place in the month
of April when prices dropped. BASICO's profit situation from
its plantings of melons and okra-were not known, and their
export yield, for melons from 200 hectares. All the
20.5 metric tons of okra from 16 hectares were exported. The
Promotora had technical and financial assistance from the
Since 1977 two export firms have been established in the
Zacapa Valley, BASICO, which is now owned by PATSA and the
Central America Produce Company -,CAPCO, an export and mar-
keting firm operating from Pompano Beach, Florida. For the
production season 1980 81 BASICO is planning on growing over 300
manzanas of melons and CAPCO around 400 manzanas.
In 1979 80 CAPCO growers planted 300 manzanas of melons.
Around 45 manzanas were lost and 25 percent of the planted
area had serious problems with low yields due to inadequate
fertilization, bed formation, water management, and virus
attacks. Over $30,000 were lost by CAPCO.
The only known government institution involved in these
activities today is ICTA Instituto de Ciencias y Tecnologia
Agricola, which has implemented a research program in the pro-
duction of fruits and vegetables for export with CAPCO and
probably with BASICO.
A more detailed look at the CAPCO operation will follow
Production Area Description
The Zacapa Valley of dry tropical climate is located in
the eastern part of Guatemala between Guatemala City and the
Port of Santo Tomas de Castilla on the Caribbean coast. A
paved highway crosses the valley that leads to the port some
100 miles northeast. The altitude is around 230 meters above
sea level. The annual average temperature is 26.8 degrees
centigrade with a maximum of 40 degrees centigrade and a \
minimum of 18 degrees centrigrade. The mean annual percipi-
tation is 500 millimeters and the average relative humidity
is 66 percent.
The main crops grown are: corn, tobacco, processing
tomatoes, watermelons, onions and melons. Four irrigation
districts cover over 4,800 hectares of irrigation land, three
of which utilize pumping stations. The Motagua River crosses
the valley adding to the water availability of the valley
for crop irrigation.
The number of growers that sell their melons to CAPCO
is between 25 and 30. In previous years the number was
between 10 and 15. Most of the melon growers either rent land
or produce in a partnership called Mediania.6 A-few large
growers own the land. The size of melon plantings per grower
is between 2 50 manzanas but usually between 2 10 manzanas.
Land rent per manzana is $ 50.00 $ 100.00 per year.
Literacy level is high among melon growers in Zacapa.
Some growers who also work with ICTA have Bachelor of Science
degrees and one has a Doctorate. Other growers had either
highschool or grade school level. One grower interviewed
said he had been awarded the "best" tobacco grower in Central
America one year, for which he grew over 200 manzanas of tobacco.
Almost all the melon growers for CAPCO have had previous
experience in growing melons either with CAPCO or with other
exporting firms in the past. The President of CAPCO said
that growers that were unsuccessful have dropped out of the
activity and "good" growers have entered.
The institutional involvement in the Zacapa melon export
activity has been limited to ICTA's research program. Re-
search is done in two phases. The first phase is one of
experimental plots where fertilizer types and levels, varieties
of melons, plant quality, cultural practices, etc. are tested
for potentiality. In the second phase, practices with
potential are put to test and managed by producers. Field
days are also prepared by ICTA. This research was developed
jointly between ICTA and CAPCO which also makes simple check
A helpful but not active involvement comes from the
La Fragua cooperative which makes acquisition of material
inputs with levied taxes for their member melon growers.
For the 1980-81 season most melon growers will obtain
production loans from BANDESA for the first time. Previously,
credit for production costs and material inputs were obtained
AID's Development of an Agricultural Diversification and
Trade Program in Latin America provided in 1974 a book,
"Agribusiness Management For Developing Countries Latin
America" by R.A. Goldberg of the Harvard Business School on
the Central American experience in fruit and vegetable exports.
This AID division also provided in 1976 the report, "Possibilities
for Guatemala and El Salvador in the United States Winter Markets
for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables" by R.L. Simmons of North Carolina
Melon planting is made in two periods so that harvesting
coincides with the high price periods in the United States.
The first plantings are made in the September November
period to harvest in November through January.
The second plantings are made in January March and
harvested in March through May. The planting schedule also
considers the cool period of December January when growth
of plants is slow. Crop area is minimal in this period.
Mechanized land preparation is a common practice in the
area. CAPCO's president said yield increases are expected
for the 1980-81 period with better bed formation, method of
planting, and fertilizer application which were recommended by
a melon specialist from Texas. Beds are made eight inches high
and three feet wide and seeding is done in the middle of the
row. Triple super phosphate is applied at a rate of 300 pounds
per manzana before planting and is banded eight inches deep.
At least one sidedress application of nitrogen in the form of
urea (200 400 pounds per manzana) is made. No potassium is
applied. Plant density is between 10 12 thousand plants per
manzana. Furrow irrigation is used. Harvesting takes place
72 75 days after planting and last 20 days. Melons are
harvested in sacks and are pre-selected in the field then hauled
in small trucks to the packing house.
Three hundred manzanas of three types of melons were planted
in 1979-80. The melon types are: cantaloupes, mayans and
honeydews. Severe problems were encountered this season with
a virus attack, inadequate soil preparation and bed formation.
Fertilizer rates are believed to have been low and there was
water scarcity for irrigation. Over 75 manzanas were affected
heavily by these problems and around 45 manzanas were completely
lost. CAPCO's president said 68,000 boxes were exported of
which approximately 4,000, 55 pound boxes were of cantaloupes,
and 64,000, 26 pound boxes were of honeydews and mayans.
Considerable production problems were encountered in the
1979-80 season. The recommendations of the Texan specialist
were tried successfully on experimental plots but only actual
field results can certify their appropriateness. One of the
three members of CAPCO's technical assistance team appeared to
have little experience in growing melons at the time interviewed.
Good technical assistance on a day-to-day basis is a prerequisite
for crops such as melons for export.
Description of Operation
The packing house is located some five kilometers on a
dirt road from the main highway that leads to the Santo Tomas
Port. This packing house was formerly used to pack meat. It
is an above ground brick construction roughly 8.0 by 16.0 square
meters with zinc panel. There is a large cold room inside, an
office, a storeroom and an above-ground water storage tank near
the packing house. A wooden shed was annexed to shade melons
awaiting selection. Up to 3,000 boxes per day can be packed.
Selection and packing is done indoors. Delivery trucks
unload melons through two large doors and packed out through
two other doors onto trailers.
The fruit is preselected in the field and hauled loose or
in sacks with small pickups. At the packing house melons are
dumped into a water vat containing a mixture of chlorine and
a fungicide. Melons are then sorted on a wooden table and packed
in two-third carton boxes and topped with ice. A Saccarimeter
is used to check the sugar content. Melons that have less than
nine percent sugar are discarted.
The packing house is rented through the municipality and
is managed by CAPCO's packing and production manager, a former
instructor at INCAE with a Bachelor of Science degree in
Agriculture. Supervision of packing and selection is carried
out by the public relations manager's wife. CAPCO's general
manager in Guatemala acts as the companies public relation man,
manager input acquisition and financial and legal aspects.
Quality standards set for packout melons vary with market
conditions and usually fall into the U.S. number one and U.S.
number two category. Base prices vary be melon type and size
at the accepted quality standards and not by total volume or
the period of production. The fifty percent of CAPCO's net
returns are returned to producers in proportion to the number
of boxes delivered.
No clear cut problems were found in this packing operation.
It would seem that not price differentiating quality standards
would result in misunderstandings between producers and CAPCO
as to why certain melons are accepted on occasions only. This
may result in crossover of high quality melon producers to
BASCO which offers higher prices for good quality melons. This
situation can also be viewed as giving producers lead time until
better production practices that increase melon quality are
found. As mentioned above packing is done indoors. This may
cause inefficiencies at high ambient temperatures. The acquisition
of a new packing line for the 1980-81 season will improve
working conditions and efficiency in packing as the existing
one is wooden made and manually operated.
CAPCO uses the services of CCT for transportation from
the packing house to its office in Pompano Beach. This service
is much the same as that given to the Comayagua project.
Trailers are ordered prior to harvesting and are kept at
the packing site until completely loaded. The trip from
Zacapa to the port takes three hours. At the Miami port the
fruit must pass a USDA inspection before going to the warehouse
used by CAPCO.
Some delays occur when ship schedules are changed. CCT
may make only one round trip weekly in some periods which means
that cantaloupes may be sold up to 15 days after harvest when
As mentioned previously CAPCO is an integration of three
important activities of the export operation. These are:
technical assistance, packing and marketing. The marketing
activity is managed by CAPCO's president and is aided by his
wife, son and two hired employees.
Once melon trailers arrive at the Miami port, CAPCO's
hired customs broker pushes all paper work required to dispatch
trailers to Pompano Beach. At Pompano Beach melons are taken
to a warehouse, checked, repacked if necessary, and reloaded
onto other trucks for delivery to cities throughout the eastern
part of the country. The commission charged by CAPCO is 12 per-
cent of sales price but may be lowered under soft market con-
ditions. The warehouse facility costs some $.40 per box. The
brand name used is Mayan Pride Melons.
Around 68,000 boxes of melons were sold with prices varying
between $5.5 $9.5 for a 26 pound box of Honeydew and Mayan
melons and $9 $16 for a 45 55 pound box of cantaloupes.
CAPCO has been promoting locally the sale of the new
varieties of melons grown for export through supermarkets
aside from the traditional market place.
Small one ton capacity pick-up trucks are used to haul
melons from Zacapa to Guatemala City, the main market. A
ton of cantaloupes is sold for $ 40.00 $100.00 and Mayans
at $ 30.00 $ 40.00.
Up to the 1979-80 season financing of the production
activity was made by CAPCO. Financing included: provision
of material inputs, labor costs, and mechanized services.
It is expected that for the 1980-81 season a credit pro-
gram will be established by BANDESA for the production activity.
CAPCO's president said that for the 1979-80 season over
$30,000 were lost by his company in the operation. He attributed
this loss to inadequate production practices and to unqualified
producers especially small producers.
There has been few experiences in the export of cucumbers
from Honduras and only two operations in the Valley of
Comayagua which are described below.
In 1971 72, 129 hectares of cucumbers variety poinsett
were grown by a group of two Hondurans and a United States
citizen. Planting began in January of 1972. Harvesting was
done every two days and the cucumbers were hauled in pickups
and small trucks from the field to the packing area. The
selection was done in the field but final selection, waxing
and packing was done in Florida. Yield per hectare was 19.4
metric tons, 40 percent of which was rejected in the field
and 20 percent of the remainder rejected in Florida leaving
9.3 metric tons per hectare of sellable cucumbers. No data
was available on the results of this operation.
In 1976 a five-year export project was organized by
USAID in Honduras and the Ministry of Economy (ME) to later
be directed and executed by MRN. This project is known as
the Agro-industrial Export Project and is by far the most
heavily subsidized project of the three under study. The
main objective of this project was to diversify production
and increase rural income. At the same time, a study was
made by the World Trade Center on the feasibility of exporting
vegetables from Honduras to the United States and Europe.
The study had positive results and recommended crops
that had potential for export. Five of which were later
tested in Comayagua.
With a grant from AID and funds from the government of
Honduras, thirty variety trials were made in 1976 77 with
tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, string beans and okra in three
sites in the Valley of Comayagua. Technical assistance was ob-
tained from SIATSA, who had previously prepared a basic agro-
nomic study for AID on the potential of vegetable production
for export in the valley. The experiment's results showed more
potential for string beans, cucumbers and okra and less for
tomatoes and squash. By July of 1977 a feasibility study
for the establishment of a fresh vegetable export industry
was completed by Standard Fruit Company (SFC) at the request
of AID. SFC had since 1975 been experimenting with vegetables
for export in the hope of diversifying its activities. In
January of 1978 a one-year contract was signed between MRN
and SFC to provide technical assistance in the development
of a semi-commercial export activity with tomatoes and cucum-
bers. Two production sites were selected by SFC; the
Las Canas Cooperative in the Comayagua Valley and the El Sisin
Cooperative in La Entrada Valley, Copan, a Department in the
northwestern section of the country.
Planting of the two crops initiated in February and was
delayed due to bureaucratic problems in signing the MRN -
SFC contract and making the formal agreement between AID and
the government of Honduras. The average total yield per
hectare of cucumbers was at a high of 89.5 metric tons per
hectare from six plantings totaling 3.65 hectares. The es-
timated export yield was 32.40 metric tons per hectare. The
average total yield for mature green tomatoes was 31.3 metric
tons per hectare from six plantings totaling 3.4 hectares and
15 metric tons per hectare was the estimated export yield.
Six shipments of tomatoes and six of cucumbers totaling
1,461 30 pound boxes and 2,181 26 pound boxes respectively
were exported through SFC ships and sold by SFC sales personnel
in New York. The marketing reports showed cucumber quality
to be acceptable while tomatoes had problems with breakage
and decay. Two tomato shipments were rejected by the USDA
inspection and deliveries were returned by customers. The
New York F.O.B. prices for cucumbers varied from $1.00 -
$7.00 per box with an average of $3.60. Prices for tomatoes
varied from $2.95 $5.50 per box with an average of $3.30.
Over $80,000 in grants from AID were used in the construction
of two interim packing sheds, sprayers, an irrigation system,
technical assistance, etc.
In 1978 79 the same activities were repeated and the
La Jigua Cooperative near El .Sisin was added as a third pro-
duction site. In all,five hectares of cucumbers were planted
in seven cycles and 2.6 hectares of tomatoes also in seven
cycles. Planting was done in December and January again late
due to bureaucratic problems.
The average total yield of cucumbers was 84.65 metric tons
per hectare with a 47 percent export quality. Tomato yield
was 39.25 metric tons per hectare with 52 percent export quality.
A total of 6,513 boxes of cucumbers and 1449 boxes of tomatoes
were exported in 11 mixed shipments to New York. The average
price received for cucumbers was $3.84 and $4.64 for tomatoes.
The USDA import inspection certificate showed tomatoes as U.S.
number one quality. Cucumber quality was excellent. Over
$125,000 in AID grants were utilized.
In the period of 1979 80 various changes occurred. The
La Entrada Valley sites were eliminated for being considered
not potentially important for export activities. Although
tomatoes were planted in Comayagua, they were not exported and the
proportion of land planted compared with cucumbers was low.
A new cooperative in Comayagua (12 de Enero) was added. Trans-
portation of the produce was made with roll-on roll-off
trailers from CCT and Pan Atlantic, and marketing was chan-
neled through a brokerage firm in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Planting of tomatoes and cucumbers was done in October
through January. A total of 11.67 hectares of cucumbers and
4.13 hectares of tomatoes were planted in 11 cycles. Total
yield of cucumbers decreased from the previous year to 49.3
metric tons per hectare with a 50 percent exportable quality.
Tomato total yield increased to 44 metric tons per hectare
with a 55 percent exportable quality. A total of 7,926 56 pound
boxes of cucumbers were exported.in 12 shipments. The average
F.O.B. price in Pompano Beach, Florida for cucumbers was $9.25
and quality was excellent, although one shipment was chilled.
A total of $222,237 in grants from AID was used this year in
technical assistance, transportation, infrastructure invest-
ments, production costs, etc.
For the 1980-81 season 41 hectares of cucumbers will be
planted by four cooperatives in the Comayagua Valley and will
be subject to credit from BANADESA. A total of over $440,000
in AID grants will be used in technical assistance, construction
of a packing shed, cold room, two tractors, land leveling, etc.
Production Area Description
The Comayagua Valley is located at 630 mts. above sea
level in the central part of the country some 60 highway miles
northwest of Tegucigalpa and 130 miles south of Puerto Cortez,
the main port in Honduras located in the Caribbean coast. The
Valley is surrounded by mountains and has approximately 38,000
hectares of which over 17,000 hectares are suitable for agri-
The mean annual precipitation is 1,024 mm having distinct
rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season starts in May and ends
in October. The average low precipitation of 10 mm occurs in
the months of January and February and the higher, 198 mm in
September. The average temperature varies from 21.6 degrees
centigrade in January to 26.5 degrees centigrade in May, with
a mean annual temperature of 24.6 degrees centigrade. The
relative humidity varies from 50 percent in May to 80 percent
in October with the mean at 69 percent. The average annual
evapo-transpiration is 1912 mm and varies between 124 mm in
November and 200 mm in May.
Over 6,000 hectares of land are irrigated by the four
irrigation districts and the Humuya river. The main crops
grown include: corn, rice, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers,
soybeans, watermelons, beans and tobacco.
The vegetable export project in Comayagua has worked only
with the land reform groups in the semi-commercial period of
1977 80. Of the four cooperatives in the project for 1980 -
81, two Lo de Reyna and La Paz No. 1, are new participants,
12 de Enero is in its second year. The following table shows
the number of members and dependents of each cooperative and
the number of irrigated hectares.
Table 5.--Number of members, dependents, and number of irrigated
hectares for each cooperative.
Cooperatives Members Dependents Irrigated Hectares
Las Canas 63 120 300
12 De Enero 19 35 22
Lo De Reyna 19 30 30
La Paz No. 1 29 58 15
130 243 367
Las Canas appears to have the greatest potential of in-
creasing vegetable production although the number of members
would have to be increased substantially to meet production
labor requirements. The other cooperatives are small compared
to Las Canas but have adequate size.
Daily wages in the area are low and vary between $ 1.50
and $ 2.50. Leteracy level in the groups is low with only 20
to 30 percent of the members capable of reading and writing.
Of all the groups Las Canas has the greatest experience
in growing cucumbers, having already grown over ten cycles in
the past three years. The other groups have grown between one
to four cycles of export cucumbers.
Although experience in production is generally adequate,
management capacity is lacking since most of the production
activities have been managed by MRN and SFC personnel in past
Institutional involvement in the vegetable export project
has been high since its creation in 1976. The greatest partic-
ipation has come from MRN, AID and SFC. Limited participation
or a one-time involvement has come from SIATSA, ME and BANADESA.
MRN has been the guiding factor of the operation through
the vegetable export project. Personnel allocation to the
project since late 1976 has been between four and five technicians,
support personnel, three to five vehicles and an office. Field
management technicians, i.e. an agronomist, are trained in grow-
ing and packing cucumbers and tomatoes by SFC and have been
the bridge between SFC and the producers. Instability in MRN
personnel has been high. Eight technicians have left the pro-
ject since 1977. (See Table 6.) This appears to be due to
fundamental misunderstandings of MRN policy makers of the
potential benefits of the project in the long run and because
of administrative red tape.
Table 6.--MRN Project Personnel Turnover.
Season No. of Employeesa Outflow Inflow
1976/77 4 1 -
1977/78 5 1 2
1978/79 6 4 2
1979/80 4 1 2
aDoes not include SFC technicians.
AID's participation has been extremely important in two
aspects. First, the financial role through a grant in the
neighborhood of $850,000 and second, in the orientation of
the project. AID has provided funds for the agronomic study
by SIATSA, the feasibility study by SFC, an overall project
evaluation by Checci and company in 1978,two case study
seminars on perishable produce for export by the Instituto
Centroamericano de Administracion de Empresas INCAE, and
four scholarships for graduate studies of two ME project
officers and undergraduate studies for two MRN project members.
Occasionally, AID provided funds for educational trips and
brings specialists to the project.
Formal agreements are made each year between MRN and
AID so that the grant money allocation to the project can
SFC has been actively involved in the project since January
of 1978 just after having presented the feasibility study.
Every year since 1978 a technical assistance contract is signed
between MRN and SFC. Although technical assistance has been
the basis of these contracts, in reality the greatest contribu-
tion of SFC has been in filling the administrative gap that
MRN bureaucracy creates. Through SFC the project has had little
problems in the acquisition of material inputs, machinery, and
infrastructure development, and has served as the exporter and
initially as the marketing firm.
One or two on the farm technicians with experience are
provided by SFC each year. Since 1979, a specialist with a
Ph.D. in Horticulture has resided in Comayagua to more closely
direct the operation. Previous to 1979, weekly or biweekly
visits to Comayagua were made by SFC specialists e.g. in
entomology, pathology, engineering, etc.
Detailed production reports are presented by SFC to MRN
at the end of each season. These reports have been possible
due to consistent overall accounting of costs and activities
by both MRN and SFC.
SIATSA's participation in the project initiated just after
the agronomic study. Experimental trials on different vegetables
were designed, directed and analyzed by SIATSA in 1976-77. A
solicitation was made by MRN for technical assistance in 1977
for which a proposal was presented by SFC and none by SIATSA.
ME through its Foreign Trade Directorate is believed to
have made the initial moves in the creation of the vegetable
export project. -ME and AID cooperated the formulation of the
initial project paper and later cooperated with AID and MRN
in the development of the variety trials in 1976 -77. MRN
took full participation after that year.
The target market period for exporting cucumbers is from
mid December until the end of April. Plantings of cucumbers
have initiated in November, December, and January for the pro-
duction seasons 1979 80, 1978 79, and 1977 78, respectively.
It takes 45 50 days from planting to first harvest and 32 -
38 days of harvest. Harvest are made every two to three days.
Land is prepared mechanically two to three weeks before
planting. Fertilizer is applied pre-plant and side dressed.
A total of 139 kilograms of Nitrogen, 98 kilograms of P204,
14 kilograms of K20 and 18 kilograms of Mn per hectare
were applied in 1979 80. Seeding is done mechanically.
Plant density is optimum at 26,000 plants per hectare.
Cucumbers are furrow irrigated six to seven times. Pest
levels are closely monitored and insecticides, fungicides and
foliar fertilizers are applied either with hand held pto-
powered booms or with back pack sprayers. Cucumbers are
grown on a trellis system and vines are trained by hand. Until
the 1980 81 season no preselection of cucumbers was made in
the field. The fruit is carried to the packing shed in 25
kilogram boxes hauled by tractor driven trailers.
Planting in the 1979 80 season was late but earlier
than previous years. Planting began November 15, and ended
January 31. Six plantings were made totaling 11.67 hectares
in Las Canas and 12 de Enero. Tomatoes were planted but the
fruit was not exported since tomatoes are considered suscep-
tible to the Mediterranean Fruit fly and United States reg-
ulations prohibit tomato imports from Honduras below Baltimore.
This would require a separate marketing channel not currently
persued by the project.
In August 1979, 7,935 Ipil Ipil seedlings and 4,540
Eucaliputs seedlings were planted in Las Canas. Eucaliputs
is used as a windbreak and Ipil Ipil for stakes in the
cucumber trellesing. A plastic covered wooden framed green-
house measuring 8.54 meters by 22.16 meters was constructed
for tomato seedlings and another interim packing shed was
built in 12 de Enero. A drip irrigation system was installed
which was used experimentally on 1.22 hectares of cucumbers
and 0.81 hectares of tomatoes. In order to provide water for
pesticide applications and the packing house a 31,000 It.
capacity storage tank made of bricks was constructed near the
interim packing shed at Las Canas.
Additionally, a larger packing line was installed at
Las Canas. Two refrigerated vans were put by the packing
shed to serve as temporary fruit coolers when trailers were
not available. Approximately 8.83 hectares of land were
Leveled in both sites. Two check plots were developed; one
with six tomato varieties and another comparing drip against
Over 575 metric tons of cucumbers were produced in the
two sites. Average yield was at 49.3 metric tons per hectares
with 50 percent exportable quality. A total of 8,676 1 1/9
bushel boxes were packed of which, 7,926 boxes were exported
in twelve shipments. The relatively low yields in this season
were attributed to low fertilizer levels and improper proportions
and low plant density. The low percentage of exportable
cucumbers is believed to have been due to overselection.
Tomatoes had the highest yields since the project initiated.
The average total yield was 44.0 metric tons per hectare with
a 55 percent exportable quality. (See Table 7). Over 144
metric tons of tomatoes and 276 metric tons of cucumbers
were sold in the local market.
Table 7.--Cucumber and tomato yields.
Las Canas Mt/ha. % Exported Mt/ha. % Exported
1977/78 89.4 34 34.6 40
1978/79 80.9 35 35.8 59
1979/80 49.7 47 46.4 --
12 de Enero
1979/80 48.9 52 41.7 55
1977/78 89.5 36 29.0 56
1978/79 88.4 58 42.7 46
A total of $222,237 in grant money from AID were allocated
to the project. (See table 8). Sales revenues from exports
totaled $23,135, which left a total net cost for the project
of $199,102. Eighty percent of the total disbursement went
into the categories of personnel salaries, infrastructure
investment, and production costs. MRN money allocations to
the project are not included'in the figures below.
Table 8.--AID grant fund allocation in Comayagua.
Windbreaks & stakes
Although AID since the formation of the project provided
a project paper specifying objectives and goals, the actual
activities of the project have not been consistent with the
planned goals. Underestimation of the project complexity,
bureaucratic red tape and the government administrative policy
are the underlying factors affecting the project. Specifically,
the consistent delays in contract signing has caused late
planting, delayed the packing shed construction, time-constrained
planning periods, etc.; tomato production for export was
suddenly canceled, and variety trials were made for tomatoes
but none for cucumbers.
A greenhouse for tomato seedlings was constructed, but
no tomato production is being planned. The water storage tank
was built in Las Canas but the permanent packing shed is
being built somewhere else. The high personnel turnover in
MRN has lowered efficiency in technical assistance to the
cooperatives and produces an overall stress situation.
Description of Operation
For the 1979 80 season two interim packing sheds were
in operation, one in Las Canas and the other in 12 de Enero.
The packing sheds are ten by six meters, wooden box
with zinc panel, having a small office and storeroom.
Las Canas packing shed used part of the packing line formally
used by SFC in their vegetable operation. 12 de Enero's packing
line was somewhat smaller being five meters long, while
Las Canas had over ten meters of selection belts. Both packing
lines included a water vat to clean the fruit, a collector
where cucumber stems are cut, cleaning and waxing brushes,
and selection belts.
Two refrigerated vans were kept permanently in Las Canas
to assure prompt cooling of cucumbers since CCT trailers
could not always be delivered to the packing area at the time
Cucumbers harvested are hauled to the packing shed in
wooden boxes in a pickup or wagon. No preselection had been
done in the field in past seasons, so that total yields could
be measured. For the 1980 81 season preselection in the
field will become a common practice. On arrival to the packing
shed cucumbers are cleaned, waxed, sorted and packed in 1 1/9
carton boxes. Ten percent of the field boxes are used as a
sample to estimate yield and percentages of defects. Cucumbers
are sorted by size and quality. Select, large and small are
the size grades and are classified as U.S. #1. Super select
is the U.S. Fancy classification. For the 1979 80 season
two other grades were made; plain and carton. The plain
grade is for the U.S. # 2 and carton is U.S. # 1 cucumbers
of extra large size.
Management of the packing activity has been done by MRN
and SFC. A few members of Las Canas have been trained in
the supervising of packing and selecting and at least one
has been supervising these activities since the project began.
Women from the cooperatives are the main source of labor in
packing and selection and at times work in harvesting cucumbers.
A supervisor in packing was sent by the marketing firm for two
weeks to provide training in selection and packing.
A total of 2,111 boxes from 12 de Enero and 6,567 boxes
from Las Canas were packed. Of these, 7,926 were exported
in grades: super select, select, large, small and the plain.
In five shipments grade large was repacked into the carton
grade at Pompano Beach, Florida. Two shipments had excessive
soft rot and all the fruit had to be repacked. Soft rot
is believed to have been caused by either excessive nitrogen
fertilizer or mechanical damage when packing. One shipment
had chill damage.
Both packing lines were deficient, especially the one in
Las Canas which needed constant repair. Project personnel
stated that fruit exported was overselected and this caused
export yields to drop by 10 to 15 percent.
Since yields turned out lower than expected, the number
of boxes per trailer exported declined at the end of the
season, leaving the average number of boxes per trailer at
661, a ten percent decrease from potential.
Various problems were encountered in the packing activity
in the 1979 80 season. The carton boxes were unsatisfactory.
It is believed that for the 1980 81 season wire bound crates
will be used. Cucumber selection was out of hand. This pro-
blem can be avoided only when there is a clear understanding
of quality requirements in the United States market and the
tolerance levels of the different grades.
The president of CAPCO was invited by AID to look at the
cucumber operation in July, 1980. He recommended that no
plain grade cucumbers be exported and the project personnel
should on occasions personally check shipments when arriving
in Florida. In the 1979 80 season no project personnel
inspected any shipments on arrival in Miami.
During the 1977 78 and 1978 79 seasons the logistics
were as follows: After the fruit was packed, refrigerated
trailers belonging to a local company were used to transport
the fruit to the La Ceiba port that SFC was using for their
vegetable exports. The fruit was unloaded into refrigerated
train vans at La Ceiba, then transferred to the SFC ships
into pineapple and banana cold rooms. The local refrigerated
trailers were untimely and had cooling problems. There was
much loading and unloading which added to the deterioration
of boxes and increased costs. In the 1978 79 season SFC
eliminated their vegetable operation and no SFC transportation
facilities would be available for the project from there on.
For the 1979 80 season a new logistic arrangement was
made. Fruit was transported in a roll-on, roll-off fashion
via CCT and Pan Atlantic Lines. CCT is the larger of the
two and has five ships servicing the Central American area.
Three ships have capacity for 56, 89 and 117 trailers.
These two companies provide the only refrigerated trailer
service between Miami and Puerto Cortez. On prior notice
trailers were sent to the packing shed and stationed for as
long as three days until fully loaded. This service was
done at no additional cost, but trailers were tardy on occasions.
Trailers are kept at 45 degrees to 48 degrees Fahrenheit,
the optimum storage temperature for cucumbers. From the
packing shed the fruit is trailered for five hours to the
Cortez port and rolled into the company ship. The CCT
ship schedule is Miami-Santo Tomas, Guatemala-Cortez,
Honduras-Miami or Miami-Cortez-Santo Tomas-Miami. The ship
takes 2.5 days from Cortez to Miami. Ships arrive at the
Cortez port once or twice a week.
The loading capacity per trailer is 40,000 to 40,500
pounds for'cucumbers which means 690 698, 58 pound boxes.
In the 1979 80 season, up to 755-58 pound boxes were sent
in one trailer at no extra cost. This was verified by a CCT
officer who said that no extra charges were being made on
overloads presumably to help the project expansion.
Twelve trailers were sent to Pompano Beach with CCT
and Pan Atlantic Lines from January 15 to April 5. The
number of boxes per tailer varied from 344 to 755 with an
average of 661. The days between shipments varied from two
to ten and six days as an average.
One trailer had deficient temperature controls and
caused chill damage on cucumbers which were later sold at below
market prices. No retrieval of losses was persued by the
project against the transportation company. It is necessary
that the transportation company provide refunds to the pro-
ject for any loss in revenues due to inadequacies of trans-
Departure dates for ships were usually provided from four
to seven days in advance but were repeatedly changed which
caused rescheduling of harvests. Due to the low number of
shipments planned no serious problems was encountered in
loading. The number of boxes per trailer was low on average
and was due to the unexpectedly low yields which showed up in
the low number of boxes per trailer at the end of the season.
For the 1980 81 season, the carton boxes may be replaced
by wire-bound crates. Since these crates are heavier than
the carton boxes the number of crates per trailer would be
lower, thus, increasing the per unit costs.
Initially, the marketing of project tomatoes and cucumbers
was made by SFC sales personnel in New York City. It is
believed that prices obtained for SFC and project produce
were below market average due to the newness of tomato and
cucumber marketing for SFC's brokers. These were accustomed
to selling bananas and pineapples mainly. The project
boxes had the SFC brand name.
For the 1979 80 season SFC made marketing arrangements
with a Pompano Beach based brokerage firm which had had pre-
vious experiences in Guatemala.7 Commission charges were set
at ten percent with no extra charges for handling at the
warehouse. Shipments were made freight collect to the mar-
keting firm. Other charges that were deducted from sales
revenues are: import customs broker fees, transport duties
after February, phytosanitary insection, repacking and local
transportation of damaged fruit. The marketing firm would
also provide technical assistance in packing and selection.
Boxes had no brand name.
Around 7,970 boxes including 1,043 24 pound cartons were
sold at a weighted average price of $8.45 per box.
The highest average price was $17.88 for the last shipment
in April. The lowest price obtained was $2.63 for all sizes
and qualities of the chill damaged shipment.
Mobt fruit arrived in good condition and acceptance was
reported as excellent. Due to shipping schedules some fruit
arrived in Florida 14 days after picking, some showing shrivelled
Although all contract agreements were kept by the mar-
keting firm a few problems did arise. As said previously the
packing and selection technician sent to Comayagua created
confusion with quality specifications for cucumbers which
ultimately resulted in the reduction of export volumes and
yield. Communication between Pompano Beach and Comayagua
was not continuous as quality standards were not fully rectified
to market requirements.
Under the uncertain quality standards for the different
grades packed it is difficult to evaluate the marketing per-
formance of the marketing firm. As Table 9 shows, grade
small cucumbers obtained the highest weighted average and
simple average price of all grades while super selects which
are of higher quality obtained the lowest weighted average
and simple average price excluding the carton grade.
Table9 .--1979 FOB prices for cucumbers in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Super Select 9.09 7.89
Select 9.39 9.39
Large 9.40 10.29
Small 10.05 10.84
Plain 8.39 8.73
Cartona 3.03 3.69
aThe carton selection weights 24 pounds.
Marketing of cucumbers in the Honduran market has been
in the hands of the cooperatives from the onset of the pro-
ject. Each cooperative has a sales committee. Cucumbers are
sold at the farmgate to intermediaries or directly to whole-
salers at the market place in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.
Cucumbers are put in sacks weighting around 165 pounds and
transported in trucks. Market acceptance of project cucumbers
has increased substantially owing to the higher quality and
longevity of the fruit. When cucumbers are sorted.and packed
for export, rejects already waxes are collected and resorted
for the local market.
A total of approximately 3,804 sacks, 740 from 12 de Enero
and 3,064 from Las Canas equivalent to 80.5 percent of export
culls were sold. The price per sack received by 12 de Enero
was $3.36 and $3.64 for Las Canas. With costs per sack at
$0.57 at Las Canas profit, per sack was $3.07.
The average price per sack of cucumbers received for all
months by 12 de Enero was lower than Las Canas price. It
appears from table 10 that project growers perceive a downward
slopping demand curve for their cucumbers assuming a constant
demand throughout the period, making them a local monopoly.
This situation can be taken advantage of by the cooperatives
if they sell their export culls together.
TablelO.--Prices, quantities, and costs of cucumber sales in
the Honduran market.
Months Sacks Average Price Unit Cost
Jan. 147 $ 5.66 $ 1.17
Feb. 562 4.32 0.68
Mar. 1296 3.02 0.49
Apr. 1053 3.75 0.52
12 de Enero
Jan. 265 3.51
Feb. 422 3.46
Mar. 53 1.79
It is very likely that for the 1980 81 season when 41
hectares of cucumbers will be planted that net revenues per
hectare from local sales will drop as the Honduran market
will probably not absorb all the cull production. Expansion
of sales to other Central American markets may prove
successful for possible cucumber area increases in the
near future, but area increases into the hundreds of hectares
will require to focus on increasing the export yield percentage
and the analysis of processing alternatives.
The financing of the project has come from two sources.
One from the AID Grant which will total $850,000 by 1981.
The other source is in the form of Honduran Government services
through the MRN vegetable project with expenses running at
$150,000 to $200,000 in the four years of operation.
For the 1980 81 season the last disbursement of the AID
grant will be approximately $440,000. The four cooperatives
involved in the production of cucumbers will received financial
credit from BANADESA estimated at $250,000 for production and
variable packing costs.
Costs and Returns
A cost and return analysis is presented for both growers
and exporters in each operation. A hypothetical exporter for
the Comayagua project is added just for comparison purposes,
despite not having included some of the overhead costs e.g.
personnel. The data.used were taken from the cost tables
in Appendix B. The costs presented in Appendix B were pre-
pared from budgets provided by CAPCO, PATSA, UATM and the
MRN export project. Some packing, transportation, and mar-
keting costs were taken from various 1980 reports from each
operation and from rough estimates given by CAPCO's packing
manager. Although the costs and returns information pro-
vided here are adequate estimates of the actual situation, the
information presented in Tables 11 and 12 is mostly for com-
Table 11 shows grower costs and returns for cantaloupe
melons and cucumbers. The base prices for Choluteca and
Guatemala were calculated based on their pricing system
for the 1980/81 season and the expected export volumes
throughout the season. The Comayagua base price is assumed
at $3.00 for comparison purposes only. Yields were estimated
from past records.
Table ll.--Grower costs and returns 1980/81
Item Choluteca Comayagua Guatemala
Yield/Hectare 209 1500 435
Base price 7.18 3.00 3.55
Cost 6.83 2.28 2.98
Net Return 0.35 0.72 0.57
Net Return/hectare 73.15 1080.00 245.78
Profit/Cost 5.12% 31.58% 19.13%
aSum of base price plus 50 percent of CAPCO's net returns
($ 2.00 + $ 1.55 = $ 3.55).
From Table 11 it can be seen that costs per box of
melons is considerably higher in Choluteca compared to
Guatemala. This is due mainly to lower export yields in
Choluteca and much higher ones in Guatemala. On the other
hand, the base price is much higher in Choluteca than in
Guatemala. Quality standards for melons in Choluteca are higher
than those of Guatemala, thus PATSA is able to pay a higher
price while CAPCO can only afford to pay a much lower price.
Net returns per hectare are highest in Comayagua, lowest
in Choluteca and Guatemala is in between. The profit/cost
ratio is accordingly highest for Comayagua, medium for
Guatemala, and lowest for Choluteca. The ratio does not
include local sales revenues and costs since its effect
would decrease substantially as the production area increases.
At the exporter level, packing costs include those shown
in Appendix B plus the base price. The expected FOB price
used for Choluteca and Guatemala are those received in the
1979/80 season. The Comayagua price used was derived from
the 1979 80 season excluding the prices received for
shipments damaged with chilling and rotting.
Net returns per box are substantially higher for Choluteca
compared to Comayagua and Guatemala. The profit/cost ratios
follow the same order.
Table 12.-- Export Firm Cost and Returns 1980 81.
Item Choluteca (PASTA) Comayagua Guatemala(CAPCO)
Price (F.O.B.) 24.00 10.50 12.80
Packing Cost 11.59 4.03 4.42
and Marketing 6.73 5.27 5.29
Total Cost 18.32 9.30 9.71d
Net Return 5.68 1.20 1.55
Profit/Cost 48.84 % 29.78 % 35.07 %
a Based on 65,000 boxes
Based on 120,000 boxes
SBased on 100,000 boxes
d Half of net returns (3.09/2 = 1.55)
e Assumes only packing costs and grower base price are directly
made by the firm
Does not consider CAPCO's marketing side.
Net returns and the profit/cost ratios both for growers
and exporters may vary substantially from year to year. Yields
have varied considerably in past years for all three operations.
Prices in the United States also vary substantially from year
to year, and volumes exported vary considerably not only
because of yields but also because of planted area. The
results shown here should be looked at as measures of com-
parison and not as the actual or potential economic status
of each operation.
Production costs are not significantly different between
the two melon production areas, whereas cucumber production
costs are almost three times higher than melon costs. The
major production cost items for the two crops are, in order
of importance: pesticides, labor and fertilizer for melons;
and labor, fertilizer, plastic cords and machine services
On a per unit basis, the cost per box of melons is sub-
stantially higher in Choluteca -than in Zacapa considering
the significantly lower export yields of Choluteca. Cucumber
costs per box is significantly lower than that of melons.
The higher yields in Zacapa appear to overweight the
higher base prices offered by PATSA in Choluteca, resulting
in higher net returns to Zacapa growers compared to Choluteca
growers. With the inclusion of the assumptions made in tables
11 and 12 for the Comayagua operation, returns to cucumber
growers would be considerably higher than that for melon
PATSA's profitability, (profit/cost ratio) may be higher
than CAPCO's. Potentially, both firms have good possibilities
of more than adequate net returns. Transportation costs are
about equal for the three operations, although Choluteca's
costs are slightly higher reflecting the better equipped trailers
Marketing commissions for the three operations are about
equal. CAPCO may lower the commission if conditions are
unfavorable to growers. Although Comayagua's packing costs
are the lowest of the three operations, it does not include
depreciation on the packing shed, packing equipment and
management costs. PATSA's packing costs are significantly
higher than those of CAPCO and are due mainly to PATSA's
higher overhead costs. Although the base price offered by
PATSA may provide marginal profits to growers, the basic
strategy of high quality high prices and higher volume -
higher prices is a sound one. A substantial increase in
melon production would spread PATSA's high overhead costs,
which would most likely mean an increase in the base price.
Both melon operations appear to have the same production
technology in general. The input mix, practices and specific
input costs are fairly similar. In contrast, Comayagua's
cucumbers are slightly more technologically developed given
the level of input usage, mix and cost levels. Although
CAPCO has a research program oriented towards yield increases
and the Honduran projects do not, no substantial export pro-
duction increases are apparent in CAPCO's operation (compared
to PATSA's at least).
PATSA and CAPCO appear to have a good hand in the packing
activity while the Comayagua project has not yet established
a systematic packing procedure. Comayagua's cucumbers have
been packed in three different packing containers substituting
one type for another from one year to the next. The cucumber
brand name has been changed twice and at one point no brand
It appears that the medium and large growers of melons in
Zacapa are better able to manage the production activities
than do the cooperatives in both Choluteca and Comayagua.
This is based on the number of personnel available for tech-
nical assistance. In the period of 1979/80 the number of
hectares per extension agent were: 69 for Zacapa, 33 for
Choluteca and 4 for Comayagua.
1. Departments are political units comparable to states in
the United States.
2. One manzana equals 0.69 hectares or 1.7 acres.
3. A formal government document.
4. Asentamientos are land reform peasant settlements.
5. Commercial La Carreta is a new melon export firm established
in the Department of Valle in 1978.
6. Mediania is a partnership between a land owner and another
individual, whereby the owner provides the land and usually
seed, ground preparation, and occasionally other production
expenses, and the other individual called Mediante provides
the labor and grows the crop. Returns are usually equally
7. It is believed by members of the cucumber and melon project
in Honduras that this firm was involved in various un-
successful export operations in Guatemala and in other
Appendix A -1
C A P C O, S.A.
DESARROLLO DE PROGRAMS DE PRODUCTION,
MERCADEO Y EXPORTACION
En la ciudad de Zacapa, a los dias del mes
de de mil novecientos
setenta y comparecemos actuando.en
nombre propio de una parte, David N. Warren, de sesenticuatro
afos de edad, de nacionalidad Americana, profesi6n u oficio
Distribuidor de Frutas y Hortalizas, estado civil Casado,
quien se identifica con su pasaporte ndmero Z un millo
setecientos setenta y un mil doscientos cincuenta y seis
(Z 1771256) de Estados Unidos de.Norte Am6rica, quien actda
en su calidad de apoderado y representante legal de la
Compafia denominada Productos Agricolas Centroamericanos,
Sociedad Anonima (CAPCO,S.A.) lo que acredita con su nombramiento
autorizado en la ciudad de Guatemala, por el Notario Norman
Mario Permuth Listwa, el dia 17 de mayo de 1978, bajo escritura
numero ciento treinta y tres (133) y registrada en el Archivo
General de Protocolos bajo el ndmero veinticinco mil seiscientos
sesenta (25660) y en el Registro Mercantil nimero quince mil
doscientos treinta y cuatro (15,234) folio numero doscientos
cuarenta y uno (241) libro numero quince (15) de Auxiliares
de Comercio, el cual es suficiente y de conformidad con la
Ley para el otorgamiento de este acto; y por otra parte el
de nacionalidad ,estado civil
profession u oficio con domicilio y vecindad
en de9l dera-ament-r rd
se identifica con su C&dula de Vecindad
numero extendida por la
Los comparecientes aseguramos hallarnos en el libre ejercicio
de nuestros derechos civiles, y convenimos en celebrar el
present contrato contenido en las siguientes clAusulas:------
PRIMERO: La Compafia de Productos Agricolas Centroamericanos
CAPCO, S.A. que en adelante serA llamada simplemente "La Compafia",
otorga el siguiente contrato.----------------
SEGUNDO: La compafia proporcionara a cada agricultor una
orden para el retire de los insumos, los cuales seran retirados
del local que ocupa la Cooperativa Agricola La Fragua,
debiendo firmar de haber recibido de conformidad en la entrega
de los products el agricultor----------------------------
TERCERO: El Agricultor se compromete a emplear para la pro-
ducci6n de melon tecnicas recomendadas por personal t6cnico
de la Compafia, aceptando la supervision constant y re-
comendaciones del personal que design la Compafia.------------
CUARTO: La compafia proporcinara a cada agricultor un
determinado nimero de colmenas para favorecer la polinizaci6n,
con lo cual se aumentara considerablemnte la producci6n de
frutos, aceptando el agricultor el cuido y mantenimiento de
las mismas, comprometiendose a pagar cada consechero un valor
de Q 5.00 por cada colmena entregada, en el entendido de que
si alguna colmena huya de la caja el agricultor debera pagar
el costo de dicho enjambre, el cual sera de Q 15.00, a bien
se comprometa a reponer dicha colmena.------------------------
QUINTO: El agricultor se compromete a entregar su producci6n
puesta en la Planta Empacadora de la Finca El Oasis, pertene-
ciente al Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnologia Agricolas ICTA-
procurando enviar el product en las mejores condiciones
SEXTO: El agricultor se compromete a seguir estrictamente
las recomendaciones que sobre el punto de corte del product
les serin dadas por tecnicas y empleados de la Compafia, pues
de lo contrario el agricultor obtendra mayor cantidad de
SEPTIMO: Los sistemas de venta que regiran para la cosecha
1980-81 seran los siguientes: Sistema SEMI CONSIGNACION O
CON PARTICIPACION: los precious que recibira el agricultor
baja este sistema seran;mel6n tipo Honey Dew y Mayan Sweet
Q 2.75 por caja de 4 5 6 y 8 melones; Q 2.00 caja de 9
melones; Q 1.50 por caja de 10 melones; Q 1.75 por caja de
21 melones. El mel6n Tendral Verde sera pagado con los
siguientes precious: Q 3.25 por caja de 4 5 6 y 8 melones;
Q 2.00 por caja de 9 melones; Q 1.30 por caja de 10 melones y
Q 1.75 por caja de 21 melones.--------------------------------
Los precious para el mel6n tipo Cantaloupe seran los siguientes:
Q 4.00 por k caja de 12 15 18 y 23 melones; Q 3.00 por h
caja de 27 melones; Q 2.50 por caja de 36 melones.-----------
OCTAVO: La forma de pago sera la siguiente:
a) Los pagos se efectuaran los dias viernes por la
mafana en la Oficina de la plan ta Empacadora.
b) Los anticipos dados al agricultor por distintos
concepts sean descontados en las primeras entregas
de mel6n, quedando a criteria de la Compafia los
porcentajes que se deduciran sobre el valor del
c) Los gastos de impuesto en concept de pago de timbres
por venta del product serin absorvidos por el
d) Cualquier servicio de mecanizaci6n proporcionada a los
agricultores seran deducidos de las primeras entregas
de fruta que hagan a la compafia.
e) Despues de la venta del product en el mercado de
los Estados Unidos de Norte America, se deduciran
los gastos del process, tales como: empaque, trans-
porte, tramites aduanales, impuestos de importaci6n,
cost de inspecci6n, almacenaje, manejo de los Estados
Unidos y Guatemala y otros gastos que se driven,
se quedara un saldo a favor, el mismo se dividira
en el cincuenta por ciento (50%) para el productor y
el otro cincuenta por ciento (50%) para la compafia.
En caso resultrara perdida por precio bajo el mercado
la Compafia absorvera la misma y el agricultor
recibira el pago garantizado. En relaci6n a la
clasificaci6n y empaque se efectuara en el lugar
designado por la Compafia, notificandosele con tiempo
al productor para que este pueda entregar el product
en el lugar que se le indique, quedando la respon-
sabilidad de clasificaci6n en un representante de la
f) Cada cosechero tendra derecho a observer la clasifi-
caci6n de su fruta, pero en ningun moment podra
intervenir en las labores de clasificaci6n, selecci6n
y empaque, pues 6sta estara a cargo de un Representante
de la Compafia, quien serA responsible de que la fruta
serA la de mejor calidad y que tendra una venta
segura en el mercado de Estados Unidos.----------
NOVENO: En caso de queel agricultor no siga las instrucciones
de los tecnicos de la compafia y que como consecuencia de
ello no obtenga el product suficiente para pagar los anticipos
que le hayan sido proporcionados en cencepto de maquinaria
agricola u otros, se compromete a pagarle a la Compafia
sin necesidad de cobro 6 requerimiento judicial alguno el
monto concedido por concept de anticipos mencionados anterior-
mente, insumos y otros que le hayan sido proporcionados por
DECIMO: En los casos donde el agricultor obtuviere un
emprestito con el Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Agricola
(BANESA), la compafia se responsabiliza por dicha deuda y se
compromete a saldar la obligaci6n otorgada para el program
de exportaci6n; en tal caso, la Compafia servira de fiador
del agricultor ante la instituci6n Bancaria y por lo tanto de
las liquidaciones de los products que el agricultor entregue
a la compafia sera amortizado el financiamiento hasta su
El remanente sera entregado al Agricultor. En ningun caso el
financiamiento excedera de seis meses (6).--------------------
UNDECIMO: El seior manifiesta
que sembrara la cantidad de manzanas,
comprendidas en el period del al
no obstante puede haber cambios
en el total de manzanas a sembrarse, pudiendo ser mayor o menor,
pero es requisite indispensable que cualquier cambio en el
numero de manzanas citadas en este contrato, debera hacerse del
conocimiento de la Compafia por lo menos 20 dias antes a la
fecha que se tenia programada para la siembra.----------------
Recibi asimismo la cantidad de libras de semilla
de mel6n, comprometiendose ante la Compafia a entregar la
producci6n total del mel6n cosechado para la exportaci6n,
aceptando asimismo ser consignado a los tribunales de
Justicia si contraviene a tal disposici6n y todas las contenidas
en este instrument, continue manifestando el senior
que opta por el metodo semi-
consignacion para la venta de su product. Leimos inte-
gramente lo escrito en el present contrato y estando enterados
de su contenido, velidez, objeto y efectos legales, lo
aceptamos, ratificamos y firmamos.
(f) POR CAPCO, S.A.
CARLOS E. GIRON
En la ciudad de Zacapa a los del mes de
de mil novecientos como
Notario Publico doy fe, que las firmas que anteceden son
autenticas por haber sido puestas el dia de hoy en mi presencia
por los seiores personas de
mi conocimiento quienes para constancia y en un s61o acto
reproducen sus firmas con el infrascrito Notario.
Appendix A 2
CONTRATO DE COMPRAVENTA ENTIRE EL PRODUCTOR
Y LA COMPANIA EXPORTADORA
Nosotros, actuando en mi caracter
de representante de PATSA, que en adelante y para los
efectos de este Contrato se llariaa, y
actuando en nombre de
que en adelante y para los efectos de este contrato se llamara
"PRODUCTOR", hemos convenido en celebrar el present contrato
bajo las condiciones siguientes:-
PRIMERO: El PRODUCTOR tiene un terreno de de exten-
sion superficial ubicado en
SEGUNDO: El PRODUCTOR se compromete a sembrar en el terreno
mencionado, un area de mzs. de melon CANTALOUPE
de la variedad SJ-45 y mzs. de HONEYDEW de la variedad
TAMDEW. La siembra se llevara a cabo entire
y quedando entendido quesal
llegarse la ultima fecha, el PRODUCTOR no seguira sembrando si
hubiere alguna parte aun no sembrada, a no ser con las anuencia
del COMPRADOR y el visto bueno de la UNIDAD DE ASISTENCIA
TECNICA (de aqui en adelante llamada "UNIDAD"). El area
destinada a este cultivo, como aqui se establece, se denominara
TERCERO: Todos los gastos y costs de production y transport
hasta la entrega,. seran.por cuenta del PRODUCTOR.
CUARTO: El PRODUCTOR vendera y el COMPRADOR comprara la
fruta que se produzca en el area contratada que llene los
requisitos de calidad exigidos por el COMPRADOR, entendiendose
que estas normas no requieren calidad mas alta que U.S. 1,
debiendo entregarse esta para su clasificacion por tamio y
calidad. La venta por parte del PRODUCTOR, de fruta ex-
portable a cualquier persona natural o juridica en violacion
a lo awui pactado, dara al COMPRADOR, ademas de lo que permit
la Ley, la opcion de terminar el present Contrato sin incurrir
en obligacion de ninguna especie.
QUINTO: El COMPRADOR se compromete a mantener el funcionamiento
continue de la Planta Empacadora en epoca de cosecha y a
mantener instalaciones y personal de clasificacion que
aseguren el manejo cuidadose de la fruta entregada incluyendo
la no exportable. LA PLANT NO SE CERRARA ANTES DEL 29 DE
FEBRERO DE 1980.
SEXTO: La asistencia tecnica direct en cuanto a horticulture,
la dara el personal de la UNIDAD. El PRODUCTOR se obliga
a seguir todas las instrucciones que los encargados de esta
asistencia tecnica le den al efecto, aunque implique cost
SEPTIMO: EL PRODUCTOR se compromete a usar la semilla y
los insumos indicados por el COMPRADOR y la UNIDAD, segun
los planes de inversion yaaprobados por el BNF y a no utilizar
products quimicos distintos de los estipulados por el
COMPRADOR y la UNIDAD o fuera de la epoca permitida.
OCTAVO: EL COMPRADOR pagara al PRODUCTOR, durante los 10
dias calendarios inmediatamente despues de la entrega del
product a la Planta de Empaque, conforme a los precious de
CANTALOUPE: Tipo de caja: Caja de madera 2/3, con un peso
promedio de 55 a 60 libras.
PRECIO POR TAMANO
TAMAROS DIC. 1 31 ENERO 1 15 ENERO 16 FEB. 7
18/24/30 L. 16.00 L. 14.00 L. 12.00
12/15/36 8.00 7.00 6.00
FEB. 8 15 FEB. 16 29
L. 9.00 L. 8.00
5.00 [ 4.00
HONEYDEWS: Tipo de caja; Caja de carton de 2/3, con peso
promedio de 25 a 29 libras.
PRECIO POR TAMARO
TAMAROS DIC. 1 FEB. 29 MARZO 1 ABRIL 15
4/5/6/8 L. 5.00 L. 4.00
9/10 3.00 2.00
Dicha entrega de la fruta ocurrira al ser empacada en la
caja, luego de ser clasificada por calidad y tamaho.
NOVENO: Es entendido que si, antes de que este Contrato
caducara, los requerimientos del mercado exigieran un cambio
en el tamaho de caja, el precio se adaptara proporcionalmente
en relacion a las libras netas que llevaran las cajas definidas
en las clausulas anteriores.
DECIMOe El COMPRADOR establecera las normas de calidad para
la fruta que compare. Llegado el moment de compri en la
empacadora el personal necesario para exigir esta calidad de
fruta, y rechazarA la que no llene los requisitos. Para
informaci6n del agricultor se le entrega un listado de los
Tomando en consideracion que la fruta a que se refiere este
Contrato esta destinada principalmente a la exportaci6n a
Estados Unidos, ambas parties estanconscientes y aceptan como
obligatorias las normas o especificaciones que emitan las
autoridades competentes de los Estados Unidos de America,
u otro pais comprador en su caso, relatives a condiciones
de calidad de la fruta, y cualquier cambio en dichas especi-
ficaciones o normas sera igualmente obligatorio para ambas
parties, sin compensacion adicional.
DECIMO PRIMERO: Tanto el COMPRADOR como el PRODUCTOR podran
suspender o dar por terminado este Contrato en las siguientes
circunstancias: Por fuerza mayor o caso fortuito, restricciones
o gravamenes mayores o adicionales a los existentes sobre
libertad de comercio o control de cambios internacionales,
epidemias, huelgas, guerras, estados de guerra, revoluci6n,
motin, estado de sitio o cualquier otra alteracion de orden
pdblico national o international, por actos o medidas del
Gobierno, aplicaci6n de Leyes, Decretos Lay, reglamentos,
acuerdos u otras disposiciones, hechos, causes, circunstancias,
que est4n fuera de control de la parte que quiera suspender
el Contrato que dificulte, impida, no permit, o lo haga en
condiciones econ6micas que implique perdidas al recibo, carga
o despacho de la-fruta, su exportaci6n o transport national
e international y su venta eventual en el pais de destino.
En caso de suspension del Contrato, una vez notificada la
suspension a la parte, mediante carta o radiograma, permanecera
la suspension en vigor mientras perdure la causa que la
motive, salvo que la parte que suspend decide dar por terminda
antes la suspension, notificandoselo asi a la otra. La
suspension del Contrato, no suspenders el curso del termino
del mismo, que seguira corriendo mientras dure la suspension.
En caso de que el Gobierno de los Estados Unidos de America
prohibiera la entrada de los melones objeto del present
Contrato por razones de salud sanidad u otra similar, la
COMPRADORA? podra suspender las compras sin responsabilidad
de su parte mientras prevalezca la causa que motive la
prohibici6n. Dicha suspension no afectara la fecha de
terminaci6n de este Contrato.
DECIMO SEGUNDO: La violaci6n de cualquiera de las obligaciones
sustanciales contraidas en este Contrato dara derecho a la
otra parte a darlo por terminado sin ninguna responsabilidad,
y pudiendo exigir a la otra, culpable de la violaci6n, la
indemnizaci6n de los dahos respectivos.
DECIMO TERCERO: El COMPRADOR tendrA en todo tiempo el derecho
de traspasar tetal o parcialmente este Contrato a cualquier
sociedad que direct o indirectamente control o sea controlada
por el COMPRADOR,*ossus duefos, sin otro requisite que el de
avisarle al PRODUCTOR. EL PRODUCTOR considerara el cesionario
como sustituto del COMPRADOR en todos los derechos u obliga-
ciones contraidas. Toda vez que este Contrato se ha celebrado
teniendo en cuenta las declaraciones y la calidad personal o
juridica del PRODUCTOR, este Contrato no lo podra traspasar
o ceder total o parcialmente sin previo permiso escrito del
COMPRADOR? quien no lo denegara sin raz6n justificada.
DECIMO CUARTO: El PRODUCTOR autoriza a el COMPRADOR para que
efectue las liguidaciones de fruta via BNF, hasta que el BNF
le avise al COMPRADOR que las obligaciones financieras del
PRODUCTOR han sido canceladas y que el COMPRADOR puede efectuar
pagos director al PRODUCTOR.
Esta autorizacion de los productores solo sera revocable con
el consentimiento escrito del BNF. Lo anteriormente mencionado
esta de acuerdo a la Clausula.Numero Nueve, inciso "J" del
Convenio para el Proyecto de Producci6n y Exportaci6n de Melon,
celebrado entire el INA, BNF,.SECRETARIA DE RR.NN., CREHSUL Y
DECIMO QUINTO: El PRODUCTOR autoriza a PATSA para que haga
efectiva las resoluciones de la Cooperativa Regional de
Horticultores Sureios Ltda. (CREHSUL), que a continuaci6n se
A) Recaudar de los PRODUCTORES NUEVOS, la cantidad de VIENTE
Y CINCO--LEMPIRAS EXACTOS (Lps. 25.00), al moment de hacer
.efectiva la firm de este Contrato. Dicha cnatidad sera por
concept de cuota de ingreso a CREHSUL.
B) Retenar al PRODUCTOR durante el transcurso de la comer-
cializaci6n de de fruta, la cantidad de CIEN LEMPIRAS EXACTOS
(Lps. 100.00), la cual sera por concept de aportaci6n annual
suscrita con CREHSUL.
C) Retener a la orden de CREHSUL la cantidad de TREINTA
CENTAVOS (Lps. 0.30), por cada caja de melon CANTALOUPE de
exportacion, y de DIEZ CENTAVOS (Lps. 0.10), por cada caja
de mel6n HONEYDEW de exportaci6n con el fin especifico de
former el capital para amortizaci6n de la Planta.
D) Todas las cantidades retenidas por PATSA, seran depositadas
en cuentas especiales de CREHSUL en el Banco Nacional de Fomento.
En fe de lo anterior y para los efectos legales correspondientes,
se firma el present Contrato a los
dias del mes de de mil novecientos setenta
PRODUCTOS-ACUATICOS Y EL PRODUCTOR
Appendix A 3
NORMAS PARA LA CLASIFICACION DE CANTALOUPEa
La base para nuestra clasificacion son los requisitos de
grado para el grado U.S. No. 1 de los Estados Unidosr
Las Normas para la Clasifcaci6n en Choluteca son las
CANTALOUPE NO. 1 Fruta libre de defects series, de tamafos
18 hasta 30 por caja de 55 a 60 libras, que no este ni falto
de madurez ni sobremadura, y que tenga un minimo de 9% de
CANTALOUPE NO. 2 Fruta libre de defects series, de tamaio
12, 15 y 36/38 pro caja de 55 a 60 libras, que no est4 ni
falto de madurez ni sobremadura, y que tenga un minimo de
9% de azucares.
Las tolerancias permitir6n empacar fruta con los siguientes
1. Cicatrices superficiales de tono claro causados por viento
o por insects que no abarquen mas del 5% de la superficie.
2. Pequefas cicatrices de color obscure, siempre que no sean
muy profundas ni tengan grietas o rajaduras.
3. Pequefas rajaduras que no pasen de la corteza a la care.
4. Pequefas magulladuras.
5. Leves irregularidades en la forma de la fruta, o asperezas
de la corteza.
6. Leve mancha de sol, siempre y cuando no sea quema de color
negra o blanca y no haya secado o vuelto delgada la cascara.
7. Leve mancha de humedad, siempre y cuando no se present
pudricion o moho en la mancha.
8. Redecilla algo deficiente.
a This is included in the contract in Appendix A 2.
No es acceptable para la exportaci6n toda aquella fruta que
tenga series defos y defects. Los siguientes defects
1. Contenido de azucar abajo del 9%.
2. Falta de madurez.
3. Sobremadurez o falta de firmeza en la fruta.
4. Todo indicio de pudrici6n o moho.
5. Tamafo mayor de 12, o inferior a 36-38 por caja.
6. Daios frescos de insects u 6tros animals.
7. Dahos cicatrizados que detraigan de la buena apariencia
de la fruta y cicatrices grandes o profundas en la superficie.
8. Rajaduras de la corteza que pasen a la care.
9. Magulladuras o parties blandas.
10. Carencia de redecilla o defects series en la conformacion
11. Deformaci6n de la fruta.
12. Quemadura de sol.
13. Cicatriz de corte demasiado profunda (wet slip) o ancha,
14. Suciedad por contact con lodo, o deshechos animals o
15. Miel o meluza de afidos en la superficie, o mancha negra
que 4stos produzcan.
16. Liquido en la cavidad de la fruta.
17. Dafos por granizo.
NORMAS PARA LA CLASIFICACION DE HONEYDEWS
La base para la clasificaci6n de PATSA son los requisitos
de grado para el grado U.S. 1.
Dentro de estas normas, PATSA distingue dos tipos de fruta:
No. 1 y No. 2.
HONEYDEW NO. 1 Fruta libre de defects series, que detraigan
de la apariencia o que impliquen el desarrollo de mohos o
pudrici6n en el transcurso del viaje, de tamafos 4 hasta 8
por caja de 25-29 libras, y que tenga un minimo de 10% de
azucares. Seran tolerados los siguientes defects leves:
1. Cicatrices superficiales de tono claro, causados por viento
o por insects que no abarquen mas del 5% de la superficie.
2. Pequefas cicatrices de color obscure, siempre que no sean
profundas, ni tengan grietas o rajaduras.
3. Pequefas rajaduras que no pasen de la corteza.a la care.
4. Pequefas raspaduras o magulladuras superficiales.
5. Leves irregularidades en la forma de la fruta o asperezas
de la corteza.
6. Manchas amirillas que no sean por quema del sol.
7. Sombra de tierra o mancha de humedad, siempre y cuando
no se present pudrici6n o noho en la mancha.
HONDYDEW NO. 2 Este grado consiste de toda aquella fruta que
redna las condiciones arriga especificadas para el HONEYDEW
NO. 1, pero cuyo tamaio sea de 9 o 10 por caja y que tenga un
minimo de 10% de azucares.
No es acceptable para la exportaci6n aquella fruta que tenga
series dahos y defects. Los siguientes defects causaran
1. Contenido de-azucar abajo del 10%.
2. Falta de madurez.
3. Sobremadurez o marchitez de la fruta.
4. Todo indicio de pudrici6n o moho.
5. Tamaio mayor de 4 o inferior a 10.
6. Dahos frescos de insects u ostros animals.
7. Daios cicatrizados grandes o profundos que detraigan de
la buena apariencia de la fruta.
8. Rajaduras de la corteza que pasen a la care.
9. Magulladuras o areas blandas.
10. Deformaciones de la fruta.
11. Quemadura del sol 6sta se present como una mancha cafe
o como una mancha blanca rodeada de circulo amarillo.
12. Guia seca fruta proveniente de plant muerta.
13. Suciedad por contact con lodo o deshechos animals o
14. Miel o meluza de afidos en la superficie, o la mancha
negra que estos produzcan.
15. Liquido en la cavidad de la fruta.
16. Dafos por granizos.
17. Dafos por virosis.
PARA AMBOS HONEYDEWS Y CANTALOUPE FRUTA 36/38 CANTALOUPE, Y
FRUTA 10 HONEYDEWS
1. Esta fruta tiene muy poca aceptaci6n en los EE.UU. Es
deseo de la Compradora proteger y ayudar al agricultor en
lo possible comprando today la fruta 36/38 de mel6n y fruta
No. 10 de HONEYDEW, que produzca, mientras las condiciones
del mercado de EE.UU. lo permitan. Empero en el caso que esto
no sea possible, la COMPRADORA se reserve el derecho de no
tomar este tamoio en cantidades que excedan el 20% del
rendimiento total en fruta exportable del productor, durante
el period comprendido del Iro de diciembre al 29 de febrero.
2. He leido este anexo. Acepto las normas de calidad y
condiciones en ella detalladas.
Choluteca, a los- dias del mes de
Appendix B 1
Choluteca Melons: Production, packing, transportation and
marketing costs 1980 81.
Interest: 12% for 6 months
Export Yield: 209-2/3 boxes
Material & boxes
Transportation & Marketing
Total T & M
Appendix B 2
Comayagua Cucumbers: Production, packing, transportation
and marketing costs 1980 81.
Interest: 12% for 6 months
Export yield/hectare: 1 600-1
Transportation & Marketing
Honduras tax & customs
Total T & M
Appendix B 3
Guatemalan Melons: Production, packing, transportation
and marketing costs 1980 81.
Adm. Costs: 5% of costs
Interest: 12% for 6 months
Export yield/hectare: 435-2/3 boxes Cost/box
Total Production $ 2.98
Rent & Electric
Fees & Crossing Costs
Transportation & Marketing
Total T & M
1. A copy of PATSA's summary of costs and returns per box
for cantaloupe melons from 1975 76 to 1979 80.
2. Agricultural Cooperative Development International (ACDI).
Estudio de Factibilidad para un Proyecto de Pro-
duccion y Exportacion de Pepino en el Valle de
Comayagua. Tegucigalpa, Honduras, C.A. October, 1980.
3. Brooke, D.L. Costs and Returns from Vegetable Crops
in Florida, Season 1978 79 with Comparisons.
Food and Resource Economics Department, University
of Florida. March 1980.
4. CAPCO, Detalle de Costos de Produccion Estimados para
el cultivo de Melon, Cosecha 1980 a 1981.
5. Cerrato de Carrillo, M. Del. C. Feasibility Study of
Marketing Systems for Honduran Tomatoes and Cucumbers
.to the United States Markets. Institute for Per-
sonal and Career Development, Central Michigan
University, An independent study paper, 1978.
6. Checchi and Company. Evaluation of the Aqro-Indsutriall
Export Development Project in Honduras, Washington,
D.C. July, 1978.
7. Compilaci6n de los Estudios Basicos del Diagnostico del
Sector Agricola, July, 1978.
8. Convenio entire MRN, BANAFOM, INA y PATSA para ejecutar
un proyecto de production y exportacion de melon.
9. Department of State, Agency for International Development.
Agro-Industrial Export Promotion: Project Paper,
Honduras. Project number 522-0120. Washington,
D.C. August, 1976.
10. Goldberg, Ray A. Agribusiness Management for Developing
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Desarrolladas por la Division de Servicios Tech-
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Industrial. La Produccion y Exportacion de Productos
Aqricolas Tradicionales en Centroamerica. Guatemala,
13. Notes from CAPCO on packing costs.
14. PATSA, Produccion Comprada por Periodo, ciclo 1980 81,
cantaloupe y Honeydew.
15. PATSA, Produccion Comprada por Periodo, ciclo 1979 80,
cantaloupe y Honeydew.
16. PATSA, Temporada 1980 81: Programa Melon (planting
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Hectarea de Pepino. Las Cafas, 1980 81.
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20. Proyecto de Horticultura. Requerimientos de Mano de
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Market. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural
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of an Export Fresh Vegetable Industry in Honduras,
Volume I, General Appraisal and Technical Reports,
Volume II, Marking, La Ceiba, Honduras, C.A. July,
33. Standard Fruit Company. Final Report of the Semicommercial
Planting of Tomatoes and Cucumbers for Export in the
Valleys of Comayaqua and La Entrada, Copan. July, 1978.
34. Standard Fruit Company. Report Final de las Pruebas de
Produccion y Exportacion con Pepino y Tomate en los
Valles de Comayaqua y La Entrada durante 1978 79.
La Ceiba, Honduras. C.A. August 1979.
35. Standard Fruit Company. Report Final de las Pruvas de
Produccion y Exportacion en Pepino y Tomate en el
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40. Villela, Carlos G. A Study of the Feasibility of In-
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New Mexico State University, July, 1978.
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