Hello, who are you?
I’m Mandi Liliana García Socón. I am the National Innovation Facilitator of the avocado niche. I completed courses on Agricultural Engineering with an environmental emphasis at the Rural University of Guatemala, based in Sololá. From 2012, a year after finishing my academic training at EFA Agricultural Training School in Sololá, I started my professional career in the Rural Extension System of the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Food (MAGA). This allowed me to gain work experience as an extensionist for family farming in the municipality of San Andrés Semetabaj. I had the opportunity to support the Regional Program of Research and Innovation for Agricultural Value Chains (PRIICA) in coordination with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), through the Avocado Consortium in Guatemala. During this experience, I learned many things, of which I emphasize the importance of teamwork and of supporting the cultivation of avocado with producers who are dedicated to family farming.
What are your roles and responsibilities as National Innovation Facilitator?
My participation in the niche originated through an organization of avocado producers that began in San Andrés Semetabaj in 2017, with the objective of organizing the avocado value chain to provide improved marketing, organization and agronomic management. In order to integrate, and develop the capacities of avocado producers, it is necessary to have a common approach for an understanding that promotes attitude changes using tools for planning, monitoring and evaluation of learning for the innovation of systems. For this, it is necessary to know the current situation of the niche, promote participation, facilitate and guide processes towards priority objectives.
What has CDAIS changed for you?
During the time that I have been part of CDAIS project, it has enriched my organizational vision, of learning, of reflection, of attitudes and of facilitation, to contribute to the capacity development of avocado producers, and to assist innovation of agricultural systems in the country.