This effort began in 2019, when the «Floricultura para el Desarrollo» program emerged. The program consist of a flower (rose and chrysanthemum) production training and technical assistance process. It aimed on improving flower quality and productivity.
The program, which lasted 4 months, trained flower growers on new agricultural practices in flower agronomic management. In focused its content mainly on the development of fertilization plans, integrated pest and disease management, as well as generating added value through post-harvest practices.
A total of 413 flower growers have been trained in the «Floricultura para el Desarrollo» program. According to the flower they produce, they are distributed as follows: 89 Chrysanthemums growers, 15 Gerberas growers, and 309 rose producers.
They all belong to the following communities: Santa Fe Ocaña, Los Guamuch, Los Pajoc, Pilar 1, Pilar 2, Cruz Blanca, Loma Alta, and Lo de Ramos in the municipality of San Juan Sacatepéquez.
Training process results have improved productivity. Since the training process began flower production has tripled, in addition to producing flowers to export. The price of the flowers has also improved, before the training they were sold for an average of five quetzals ($0.64) and now they are priced at approximately 15 quetzals ($1.92).
«At Cementos Progreso, we have provided growers with guidance on how they should be organized, and for a couple of years, we have supported their flower quality and production process,» said Ángel Oliva, Social Management Manager.
On February 23rd, 2021, the process began with a workshop given by MAGA’s (Minsitry of Agriculure, Livestock, and Food) Dirección de Fortalecimiento Para la Organización Productiva y Comercial (Directorate for the Strengthening of Productive and Commercial Organization) DIFOPROCO and the Instituto Nacional de Cooperativas (National Institute of Cooperative Associations) INACOOP. In this activity, the participants decided to form a flower growers’ cooperative association,
to contribute to their management and marketing within the sector.
To become a cooperative association, the flower growers participated in 7 training modules, during the months of June, July, and August. The trainings prepared the flower growers and provided the support they needed to start the association.
Finally, on November 17th, 2021, the Cooperativa Integral Agrícola de Floricultores (Integral Agricultural Cooperative Association of Flower Growers) «Jardines de San Juan» R.L., by its acronym in Spanish CIAF R.L., was formed with the participation of representatives of Gestión Social de Cementos Progreso, Agro Progreso, INACOOP, and Finca el Pilar. This effort demonstrates that by working together, we can build the country where we all want to live.
The Cooperativa Integral Agrícola de Floricultores «Jardines de San Juan» R.L, (CIAF R.L), produces the following amounts of flowers weekly:
Among its 36 members, are representatives belonging to the communities of Santa Fe Ocaña, Pajoques, Pilar II, Cruz Blanca, Camino a San Pedro, among others.